As consumer privacy fears grow and people become more concerned about their digital data, one industry insider confirms our worst fears about Siri and Cortana.
At the moment, when it comes to our digital data, we are all on high alert. Wanted NSA hacker Edward Snowden was forced to flee the United States and become a fugitive when he revealed to the world that not only do the world’s governments access our data but they keep tabs on us too. That’s why everyone is now wary and concerned about what happens to the information we share with our digital devices. Who is looking at it and is our data safe?
Most of the concern surrounds messages that we’ve sent via the Internet or our mobile phone networks, such as emails, texts or instant messages. The last place that people would assume we’re being snooped on is via Siri and Cortana, the voice activated virtual assistants that can be found on iOS and Windows devices (respectively). Unfortunately though, one industry insider suggests that Siri and Cortana are actually recording us.
That suggestion comes from a user that goes by the name of FallenMyst who recently revealed all on reddit. The information, they say, comes from their new job at Walk N’Talk Technologies. In a comment, the anonymous poster described their job duties:
“I’m given an audio file (sound bite) and the corresponding text based translation (how the phone translated the speech). My job is to listen to the file, compare it to the text and provide feedback on how correctly the sound bite was interpreted by the phone. If the text and speech are a perfect match, I just move on. However, if the phone either translated something incorrectly due to a heavy accent or loud background noise, I note that in my evaluation.”
FallenMyst went on to explain that “I heard everything from kiddos asking innocent things like “Siri, do you like me?” to some guy asking Galaxy to [do something inappropriate and physically impossible]. I wish I was kidding”.
While it makes sense that companies have to run some analytics to figure out the performance of their voice controlled software, it is certainly disconcerting to know that masses upon masses of our audio data is being sent all over the world for employees to listen to. Not only this but this surely means that our data is being saved somewhere, so is it possible that a hacker could access this information? FallenMyst may have made this up of course, but it seems unlikely in the fact of recent reveals that Samsung’s voice controlled smart TVs send our audio through a similar process. Either way, it’s incredibly disconcerting.
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