Search Results for “Alex Hern”


September 9, 2019
Chips with Everything / The Guardian

Chips with Everything / The Guardian  
Siri, are you listening?

Jordan Erica Webber is joined by Alex Hern, as they look at the scandal that rocked the voice assistant world, and ask whether or not we can trust that voice assistants aren’t eavesdropping on our most private moments

July 26, 2019
Alex Hern / The Guardian

Alex Hern / The Guardian  
Apple Contractors Regularly Hear Highly Confidential Siri Recordings, Including Drug Deals and Couples Having Sex, Whistleblower

Apple contractors regularly hear confidential medical information, drug deals, and recordings of couples having sex, as part of their job providing quality control, or “grading”, the company’s Siri voice assistant, according to a whistleblower working for the firm who is concerned about the company’s lack of disclosure of these human reviews. Apple’s privacy policies do not explicitly state that a small proportion of Siri recordings are passed on to contractors working for the company around the world. Apple conceded that humans are reviewing Siri audio saying “a small portion of Siri requests are analyzed to improve Siri and dictation. User requests are not associated with the user’s Apple ID. Siri responses are analyzed in secure facilities and all reviewers are under the obligation to adhere to Apple’s strict confidentiality requirements.”

Related: Engadget, Fast Company, 9to5Mac, Tech Insider, Trusted Reviews, MacRumors, Slashdot, TechSpot, Engadget, SlashGear » security, iPhone Hacks

Tweets:@geoffreyfowler @donie

Engadget: Apple contractors frequently hear sensitive info in Siri recordings
Fast Company: Your conversations with Apple’s Siri may not be so confidential
9to5Mac: Apple responds to Guardian report about contractors hearing private conversations while ‘grading’ Siri
Tech Insider: Apple contractors working on Siri ‘regularly’ hear recordings of sex, drug deals, and private medical information, a new report says
Trusted Reviews: Apple’s Siri contractors hear people having sex, says whistleblower
MacRumors: Contractors Working on Siri ‘Regularly’ Hear Recordings of Drug Deals, Private Medical Info and More Claims Apple Employee
Slashdot: Apple Contractors ‘Regularly Hear Confidential Details’ on Siri Recordings, Report Says
TechSpot: Apple QC workers often hear bits of private conversations in Siri recordings
Engadget: Apple contractors frequently hear sensitive info in Siri recordings
SlashGear » security: Whistleblower claims Apple contractors hear ‘sensitive’ Siri recordings
iPhone Hacks: Apple Contractors Regularly Hear Confidential Medical Information, Drug Deals and More While Grading Siri

@geoffreyfowler: The HomePod in my living room activates Siri at the strangest times. But I can't say I've ever seen it activated by a zipper.A good reminder, though, that Apple keeps recordings of every time Siri *thinks* it is being activated -- and you can't stop it.
@donie: Apple contractors regularly hear confidential medical information, drug deals, and recordings of couples having sex, as part of their job providing quality control, or “grading”, the company’s Siri voice assistant, the Guardian has learned.


August 2, 2019
Alex Hern / Guardian

Alex Hern / Guardian  
Apple Suspends Controversial Program That Allows Contractors to Listen to Siri Recordings

Apple has suspended its practice of having human contractors listen to users’ Siri recordings to “grade” them, and will not restart the program until it has conducted a thorough review of the practice following a Guardian report revealing the practice.  Apple also said it is committed to adding the ability for users to opt out of the quality assurance scheme altogether in a future software update. Contractors for Apple who conduct those reviews showed up for work on Friday in Ireland but were told to go home for the weekend. The Guardian broke the news that Apple contractors regularly hear confidential and private information while carrying out the grading process, including in-progress drug deals, medical details and people having sex.

Related: AppleInsider, iClarified, Mashable, Paul Thurrott – Thurrott.com, Tech Insider, Reuters, The Next Web, PhoneArena, ZDNet Security, The Verge, Cult of Mac, MacRumors, Axios, Techradar, BetaNews, Pocket-lint, Slashdot

Tweets:@inafried @gcluley @markwilsonwords

AppleInsider: Apple suspends Siri quality control program, will let users opt out in update
iClarified: Tim Cook Announces Apple Card Will Launch in August
Mashable: Apple suspends program that let humans listen in to Siri conversations
Paul Thurrott – Thurrott.com: Apple Suspends Siri Grading Program
Tech Insider: Three ways brands can benefit from adopting voice technology (AAPL, AMZN, GOOGL, MSFT)
Reuters: Apple halts Siri response grading program after privacy concerns
The Next Web: Apple and Google suspend monitoring of voice recordings by humans
PhoneArena: With privacy cred under fire, Apple to offer opt-out feature for Siri recordings access
ZDNet Security: Apple, Google: We’ve stopped listening to your private Siri, Assistant chat, for now
The Verge: Apple stops letting contractors listen to Siri voice recordings
Cult of Mac: Apple stops listening to users’ Siri queries
MacRumors: Apple Suspends Program That Lets Employees Listen to Siri Recordings for Quality Control, Opt Out Option Coming
Axios: Apple suspends program in which humans review users’ Siri queries
Techradar: Apple has stopped sending Siri chats to third parties… for now
BetaNews: Privacy: Google stops transcribing Assistant recordings and Apple stops listening to Siri recordings
Pocket-lint: Apple is suspending Siri quality control due to recent privacy concerns
Slashdot: Apple Stops Letting Contractors Listen To Siri Voice Recordings, Will Offer Opt-Out Later

@inafried: Breaking: Apple suspends program in which humans review users' Siri queries (link: https://www.axios.com/apple-suspends-program-in-which-humans-review-users-siri-queries-eb3ed834-35fb-4e96-bf66-4de3da03b1c5.html?utm_source=twitter&utm_medium=twsocialshare&utm_campaign=organic) axios.com/apple-suspends…
@gcluley: Apple suspends Siri response grading in response to privacy concerns (link: https://techcrunch.com/2019/08/01/apple-suspends-siri-response-grading-in-response-to-privacy-concerns/) techcrunch.com/2019/08/01/app…
@markwilsonwords: Privacy: Google stops transcribing Assistant recordings and Apple stops listening to Siri recordings


August 6, 2019
Alex Hern / Guardian

Alex Hern / Guardian  
Amazon Now Allows Alexa Users to Disable Human Review of Their Voice Recordings, Company Promises Greater Clarity on This Controversial Practice

In a new policy that took effect last Friday, Amazon has given Alexa users the option to disable human review of their voice recordings and committed to greater clarity about its use of the strategy in future but it will not follow Google and Apple in stopping the practice altogether. Users of the company’s voice assistant will be able to disable a setting labeled “help improve Amazon services and develop new features” to stop the reviews.

April 8, 2019
Sandra Laville and Alex Hern / The Guardian

Sandra Laville and Alex Hern / The Guardian  
UK Government Proposes New Laws to Address ‘Online Harms’ That Would Hold Internet Company Executives Personally Liable for Violations

The UK government has proposed new laws that tackle social media companies streaming child abuse, extremism, terrorist attacks and cyberbullying have been welcomed by senior police and children’s charities. In an “Online Harms” white paper the government outlines what it says are tough new laws for internet companies spelling out the appointment of an independent regulator likely to be funded on a levy on Internet companies. The harms for which social media companies could be held personally liable include failure to act to take down child abuse, terrorist acts and revenge pornography, as well as behaviors such as cyberbullying, spreading disinformation and encouraging self-harm.

Related: The Inquirer, NS Tech, The Sun, The Inquisitr News, Phys.org, VICE News, PYMNTS.com, Fortune, The Guardian, Verdict, Cybersecurity Review, Engadget, TIME, ForbesWRAL Tech Wire, Japan TodayAxios, Silicon Republic,, KitGuru, Tech Insider, TechCrunch, ET news, Geek.com, Fortune, NS Tech, Geek.com, Gov.uk

The Inquirer : The government has decided it’s time to regulate social media firms
NS Tech: “The online harms white paper is a step in the right direction, but there’s more work to be done”
The Sun: Tech bosses face fines of MILLIONS if they show images of terrorism, child abuse, self-harm or suicide
The Inquisitr News: U.K. Websites To Be Fined For ‘Online Harms,’ According To New Government Plans
Phys.org : UK takes aim at social networks that fail to quash ‘hateful’ content
Bleeping Computer : UK Wants to Hold Companies Liable for Harmful Online Behavior
VICE News: The UK is prepared to go after Silicon Valley bosses if they don’t clean up their platforms
PYMNTS.com: Australia Laws Target Social Media Firms with Fines, Prison Over Streaming Content
Fortune: Big Tech Could Be Liable for Content That Isn’t Actually Illegal, If the U.K. Gets Its Way
Verdict: UK to outline social media regulation plans / US Court hears Mar-a-Lago malware breach case / ICO holds Data Protection Conference
Cybersecurity Review : UK Government Publishes Social Media Regulation Plans
Engadget : UK will hold social networks accountable for harmful content
TIME: U.K. Authorities Propose Making Social Media Executives Personally Responsible for Harmful Content
Forbes : UK Proposes Sweeping New Social Media Laws
WRAL Tech Wire: UK mulls direct regulation of social media under ‘duty of care’
Japan Today : UK unveils plans to hold social media bosses liable for harmful content
Axios: U.K. unveils sweeping plan to rein in Big Tech
Silicon Republic: UK plans to hold internet executives liable for harmful content
KitGuru: The UK to implement GDPR-level fines for online content deemed harmful
Tech Insider: Huge fines, criminal sanctions, and bans: Here’s how tech firms could be punished for toxic content under new UK laws
TechCrunch: UK sets out safety-focused plan to regulate Internet firms
ET news: Government lays out proposals to prevent ‘Online Harms’
Geek.com: UK to Hire Digital Safety Tzar
Fortune: Big Tech Could Be Liable for Content That Isn’t Actually Illegal, If the U.K. Gets Its Way
NS Tech: “The online harms white paper is a step in the right direction, but there’s more work to be done”
Gov.UK: Online Harms Paper