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Saturday, April 1, 2023

Apple Admits Siri May Have Been Listening, Even When Disabled

According to a report from ZDNet, Apple has recognized an iOS 15 flaw that may have logged conversations with Siri on some devices, regardless of whether the user opted out. The bug automatically turned on the Improve Siri & Dictation feature, which allows Apple to record, store, and evaluate your Siri interactions.

According to The Verge, Apple discovered the flaw immediately after the introduction of iOS 15, has ceased analyzing any recordings received mistakenly, and is erasing data from impacted devices. When Apple discovered the flaw, it disabled the functionality for “many” users and rectified the opt-in setting in iOS 15.2. As ZDNet points out, this is why, after installing the new 15.4 beta or, eventually, its final version, you may see a message asking for your permission to enable the Improve Siri & Dictation feature.

In a response to The Verge, Apple spokesperson Catherine Franklin stated, “With iOS 15.2, we turned off the Improve Siri & Dictation setting for certain Siri users while we rectified a fault discovered with iOS 15.” “Unintentionally, this issue enabled the option for a small number of devices.” We’ve ceased evaluating audio and are removing it from all impacted devices since we discovered the fault.”

This appears to be a significant enough flaw that Apple should openly warn consumers and encourage them to keep their iPhones up to date, as well as contact anyone who has been impacted. As it stands, the company’s statement does not specify how many phones were affected or when they were affected.

Without openness, it’s impossible to know who may have had their conversations recorded and listened to by Apple staff despite specifically requesting that this not happen. If you have an iPhone, now is an excellent time (if you haven’t already) to upgrade to iOS 15.2 or later. Apple said that it has ceased examining recordings and continues to destroy any data received from customers who haven’t yet updated to iOS 15.2 or above.

Cedric Blackwater
Cedric Blackwater
Cedric is a journalist with over a decade of experience reporting on local US news, and touching on many global topics. He is currently the lead writer for Bulletin News.

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