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Apple Lays off Contractors who Listened to Siri Recordings

“Apple is committed to customer privacy and made the decision to suspend Siri grading while we conduct a thorough review of our processes

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FILE - Apple's App Store app is seen in Baltimore, MD., March 19, 2018. VOA

Taking a tough stand against contractors who listened to over 1,000 Siri recordings per shift including people having sex, Apple has reportedly laid off 300 contractors in Cork, Ireland.

According to a report in Engadget quoting the Guardian on Wednesday, after suspending the Siri “grading” programme last month, the Cupertino-based iPhone maker Apple has decided to terminate it.

“More contractors throughout Europe may have been let go”, said the report.

An erlier report in Irish Examiner said that contractors in the city of Cork listened to over 1,000 Siri recordings per shift before Apple suspended the programme last month.

They regularly heard drug deals, sensitive business deals and even recordings of people having sex picked up by Apple’s digital assistant.

The contractors had the job of listening to and grading recordings by Apple’s virtual assistant Siri. The employee said that the details of each Siri user were kept anonymous.

Apple’s Siri. Image source: Wikimedia Commons

“They (the recordings) were about a few seconds long, occasionally we would hear personal data or snippets of conversations but mostly it would be Siri commands,” the employee was quoted as saying.

The details were revealed after a whistleblower last month told the Guardian that Apple contractors worldwide regularly heard users’ conversations.

Apple users had no prior knowledge that their Siri recordings were listened to.

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After details of the practice came to light, Apple suspended transcription and grading work on Siri recordings last month.

“Apple is committed to customer privacy and made the decision to suspend Siri grading while we conduct a thorough review of our processes.

“We’re working closely with our partners as we do this to ensure the best possible outcome for our suppliers, their employees and our customers around the world,” a spokesperson for Apple was quoted as saying by the Irish Examiner. (IANS)

Next Story

55% of iPhones in Last 4 Years Running iOS 13: Apple

The company has already released four updates to iOS 13 since the initial release, iOS 13.1, iOS 13.1.1, iOS 13.1.2, and iOS 13.1.3 with various bug fixes along with performance improvements

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iPhones are on display at an Apple store in Prince William Country, Virginia. (Photo: Diaa Bekheet) VOA

Apple has revealed that 55 per cent of iPhones introduced in the past four years have been running the latest version of the company’s mobile operating system iOS 13.

While, 38 per cent of all iPhones introduced during the past four years were running iOS 12, 7 per cent of the devices were having an earlier version of the application.

The company has also reported that 50 per cent of all the iPhones are running on iOS 13, while 41 per cent on iOS 12, 51 per cent on iOS 13 and, 8 and 9 per cent of devices with earlier versions.

apple, software, updates, iOS
An Apple company logo is seen behind tree branches outside an Apple store in Beijing, Dec. 14, 2018. VOA

Apple has broken down the stats between both iOS 13 and iPadOS which were launched at different times earlier this year.

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Additionally, 33 per cent of all iPad devices on iPadOS 13, followed by 51 per cent on iOS 12 and 16 per cent on earlier releases.

The company has already released four updates to iOS 13 since the initial release, iOS 13.1, iOS 13.1.1, iOS 13.1.2, and iOS 13.1.3 with various bug fixes along with performance improvements. (IANS)