Date: 3rd August 2019
US tech giants Google and Apple have stopped their voice assistant audio reviewing program globally over privacy concerns. The companies reviewed the recordings of the interaction between their voice assistant and the user.
Apple Inc. announced on Friday that it has suspended its Siri voice assistant program where is ‘graded’ the anonymized recordings of the interaction between its Siri voice assistant and the users.
This move by both the tech companies came after the Guardian published a report last week stating that the workers responsible for reviewing the recordings heard private interactions of the users.
Increasing concerns about data privacy have resulted in many tech companies being forced to provide transparency in their operations. Google suspended its audio review program for its Google assistant service after a Dutch audio data was leaked.
Alexa, Siri and Google Home are examples of voice assistants that are being part of the everyday life of people all around the globe. However, this has resulted in lawmakers focusing on how the companies collect and distribute data of consumers that does not affect their privacy.
An Apple spokeswoman said that the company has stopped its Siri’s audio review program and it is in the process of a review of the same meanwhile. She added that users will be able to remove themselves from the program in an upcoming software update.
On the other hand, a Google spokeswoman told reporters that Google users can always opt-out of the storing of audio data. Moreover, they can select the auto-delete option for regular periods.
Amazon too said that users have the right to not allow audio data to be stored that the company uses to improve Alexa features. The company said that it will work on the transparency of the information provided to customers.
Microsoft Corp did not answer queries of reporters regarding its Cortana voice assistant.