Apple suspended hearings of user interactions with Siri last month. New information now reveals that employees had to listen to about 1000 Siri recordings per shift.
The revelation was made by a company employee to the Irish Examiner newspaper. Due to the suspension of this practice, the employee has been laid off. According to him, all user details were anonymous during the hearings.
In each shift, he had to hear more than a thousand recordings, because they were usually only seconds. “Occasionally we could hear some personal data or bits of conversation, but mostly it was interactions with Siri.”
The staff had to classify these recordings according to a set of parameters. The goal was to improve the virtual assistant, and among the parameters were possible accidental activations or whether or not the user question was something the assistant could help.
The employee said that Siri user details are anonymous. And that he or she mostly heard recordings with Canadian, Australian, and UK accents.
“I understood the reasons why the company was doing it but I could see why people would feel it was a breach of privacy because they weren’t telling people. I think the lack of consent was the issue.”
Assuming that the employe works 8 hours a day, he should hear two recordings per minute. The practice is now suspended at Apple, and this new information arrives at a time when these employees have ended their connection with the apple company.