Apple is temporarily stopping worldwide from having people listen to Siri fragments and review them. That confirms an Apple spokesperson in the Netherlands Friday morning after publications about the practices by The Guardian and NU.nl.
Recordings for Apple's Siri speech assistant are in some cases listened to by employees who transcribe and rate the excerpts for Apple. That also happened with Dutch-language recordings, without Apple making that explicit to users.
In addition, Apple will implement a software update that allows users to indicate that they do not want their Siri recordings to end up with analysts.
Apple told NU.nl on Thursday that "less than 1 percent" of daily Siri recordings are listened to by people. This concerns voice recordings made after a user actively uses Siri, but also unintended recordings.
On Thursday, Google announced that the company in Europe will stop having its Google Assistant listen to and transcribe recordings. In July, VRT NWS and the NOS already revealed that Dutch recordings are being listened to by people.
NU.nl has asked Apple if the company will stop immediately and in which languages Siri has been analyzed by people so far, but has not yet received an answer. GlobeTech, an Irish company that performs analysis for Apple, was not available by phone on Friday morning for a response.
This message is supplemented as soon as more information is known.