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Apple Responds To Siri Privacy Scandal By Firing 300 Contractors

Apple has reportedly fired 300 contractual workers who were hired to listen and review audio clips of Siri as part of the Siri grading process. The workers were needed to help improve Siri’s transcription and comprehension abilities. Workers heard around 1,000 of Siri recording clips in every shift to better Siri. But in the wake of the recent privacy concerns, Apple seems to be forced to halt its Siri grading process. The workers were based out of Cork, Ireland and were mostly listening to Canadian, Australian, and UK English accents, according to a report by The Examiner.

Citing the reason to halt the programme, an Apple spokesperson to the website, “We believe that everyone should be treated with the dignity and respect they deserve — this includes our own employees and the suppliers we work with in Ireland and around the world. 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.”

Apple had earlier decided to shut down the quality control (or ‘grading’) program worldwide over user privacy concerns after Guardian reported that third-party Apple contractors regularly hear confidential details on Siri recordings as a part of the quality control process. The report even added that these third-party contractors can hear private conversations, couples having sex and more as a part of the job. They check if the Siri voice assistant was activated deliberately or accidentally and if it’s expected to answer a user query appropriately.―Times of India

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