Apple is at the verge of losing 1.4 billion iPhone and iPad users worldwide as the Cupertino giant is reportedly spying on its users via its virtual voice assistant — Siri. Each hired contractors listened to more than 1000 Siri recordings in every shift, as reported by the Irish Examiner.
Last month, Apple hired private contractors to listen and grade the Siri recordings every day. After a month, Apple realized its mistake and terminated the operation.
Reportedly, the Ireland based IT firm, Globetech may have fired large numbers of employees because of sudden suspension of the project. Both, Apple and Globetech have refused to comment on the matter.
The contractors operating from Cork city of Ireland, listened to the recordings of Siri to transcribe and then graded these recordings on the bases of different factors. Meanwhile, Siri users’ details were kept secret. Amongst those most of the users had Australian, British or Canadian accent, whereas, a small number of Irish and European users were also part of it. However, Globetech did not allow its employees to keep their mobile phones in the workplace.
The contractors were listening to the private recordings related to the business deals, medical information and drug deals. There were recordings where users were having a private conversation with their partners. Meanwhile, Apple has said that the company collected the data to make Siri work more effectively. However, they failed to explain that while they claim them to be trustworthy with privacy of users, why they were doing it without the users’ consent.
This is not the first time Apple has let down the iPhone and iPad users, just last month Apple released iOS 12.4 update which unpatched the vulnerabilities that let hackers jailbreak the users’ devices. This vulnerability allowed the user to download the application from unofficial app stores, which in turn exposed the devices to hackers. The fault was pointed out by Google’s Project Zero team and Apple is currently working to patch the vulnerability.