Apple Caught Spying On 1.4 Billion iPhone & iPad Users

Last month, The Guardian reported that Apple was involved in a serious privacy breach. The company had hired contractors to listen in on its users’ recordings through Siri and they regularly heard confidential information from their iPhone/iPad users.

More recent reports on the matter now give a sense of scale to what was actually happening.

According to an employee who had their contract recently terminated, Apple had hired contractors to listen in on 1000 Siri recordings before it terminated the practice last month. These recordings were then transcribed and graded based on how Siri was triggered and how often the query was successful.

A lot of confidential information was uncovered due to these recordings including medical information, drug deals and private interactions between family members.

Following The Guardian’s report, more than 300 employees working with contractor Globetech were let go. This puts the 1000 recordings per shift into context.

“Mostly it was users with Canadian, Australian or UK accents (who were heard) and there was a smaller team working on users with European languages,” says the employee.

Additionally, the employee said that the user’s personal details were kept anonymous and they would occasionally hear personal data and snippets of conversations.

Apple said that the data “is used to help Siri and dictation … understand you better and recognize what you say”. But the company did not say how there were humans listening in on their private recordings without the users’ knowledge or consent.

Apple, a company that claims ” user privacy is a fundamental human right” suspended the practice last month after details on the matter became public knowledge.

It is also worth mentioning that Apple promotes itself as “the only tech company that you can trust”. Not sure exactly how 1.4 billion iPhone and iPad users around the world would feel about that at this point.

Via Forbes, IrishExaminer.

  • this also includes Google Assistant & Amazon Alexa plus meager users of Microsoft Cortana… #FullStory

  • “Apple had hired contractors to listen in on 1000 Siri recordings before it terminated the practice last month”

    1000 recordings = 1.4 billion people’s privacy breached?

    Not a fan of Apple here but this is sensationalism and clickbait at its worst. Propakistani used to have some standards, what happened to you guys?

    • It is a breach of privacy as no one knows whose recording is being heard. so it can be any of the devices from 1.4 billion apple users. and please read carefully it says “1000 recordings per shift”

      • Yes, it could be any of the devices, but not all 1.4 billion people weren’t affected, were they?

        And Apple already cleared it up, they had contractors listening to these recordings on site. They weren’t allowed to take these recordings home to work with them. Why hasn’t the author mentioned Amazon and Google who were doing the same thing with Alexa and Google Assistant recordings and have records for far worse breaches of privacy?

    • Utter non-sense, do you even know what is DPA OR HIPPA? Quantity does not matter when it comes to breach of privacy – BTW where 1.4 billions no came from? Do you reckon siri has 1.4 b user.

  • i am a fan of and i believe that constructive criticisms should be welcomed.
    Peoples complaining the reporting of propakistani on this page due to a slight error in the article. People should know that that propakistani staff took that report from well known media sites e.g. Forbes and it is mentioned in the article, 1000 recordings privacy breach per shift, that is really a lot

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