In the digital age that we live in, it has become increasingly commonplace for large corporations — Apple, Google, and the likes — to track everything about us. What we’re doing, and when we’re doing it. What we’re buying, and when we’re buying it. Who we’re friends with, and who they’re friends with. What we like, and what we dislike. Maintaining privacy in the online realm can be extremely challenging.
Having said all that, it’s unsurprising that Apple has officially claimed that it keeps the personalized data that you provide to Siri on record for up to two years. In other words, Siri doesn’t forget. While it’s unknown exactly what information Apple keeps on file, one can imagine that it might involve anything from your previous searches and commands to your personal contacts and messages. While the data is kept anonymous, it’s still a sobering situation.
A detailed report on Wired explains what happens when you speak to Siri:
Here’s what happens. Whenever you speak into Apple’s voice activated personal digital assistant, it ships it off to Apple’s data farm for analysis. Apple generates a random numbers to represent the user and it associates the voice files with that number. This number — not your Apple user ID or email address — represents you as far as Siri’s back-end voice analysis system is concerned.
The most controversial issue surrounding this entire situation is that Apple has, for the most part, failed to be transparent about Siri privacy issues. iPhone, iPad and iPod touch users should know exactly what the personal data they are providing to Siri is being used for, instead of having their information stored without their knowledge. How do you feel about Apple tracking you?