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Unintentional recordings: Switch off storage of Siri requests at Apple

Ungewollte Aufnahmen: Speicherung von Siri-Anfragen bei Apple abschalten

It's no secret that Apple, Amazon and Google are storing requests to digital voice assistants and evaluating a small portion of people to improve their services. An expert-generated configuration profile for iOS now makes it possible to prevent storage on Apple's servers.

The issue of storing requests to Siri came up again last week when The Guardian Information from an employee of a subcontracting company, according to which records manually audited by employees, repeatedly contained unwanted audio recordings that people recorded during quarrels, intercourse or sales of drugs. Apple had then stated that only about 1 percent of all records are analyzed by humans to improve the speech recognition of Siri, but the associated Apple IDs of the users are not linked to the recordings, so that a clear assignment is not possible.

Installation steps of the configuration profile on iOS
Installation steps of the configuration profile on iOS (Image: 9to5mac)

iOS profile enables hidden option against storage

The digital forensics expert Jan Kaiser has now published an iOS configuration profile on GitHub, with which the server-side storage of Siri requests should be deactivated on both an iPhone and iPad. Siri itself can still be used. The profile named “Prevent server-side logging of Siri commands.mobileconfig” must be downloaded from iOS and installed via the settings. It deactivates the “Allow server-side logging of Siri commands” function, which theoretically can be deactivated by anyone with a corresponding profile if this is created via the Apple Configurator under macOS.

Apple should make attitude accessible to all

By publishing the source code on GitHub, the provided profile ensures that no other options are changed. At the same time, Jan Kaiser asks Apple to make the option accessible to all users via the operating system settings. Anyone who shares this opinion, he asks, this Apple via the feedback form to communicate.

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