How to use Apple’s new anti-Siri snooping tools
Apple has done the right thing and given Siri users more control over the recordings the company has saved of your Siri requests.
How do you use these controls and why were they needed?
How do you use the controls?
Apple has added two controls to iOS 13.2. Available in Settings they give you control over two slightly different functions.
- One tool lets you opt in or out of sharing recordings with Apple.
- A second Setting lets you delete all the recordings the company currently has on its servers.
How to use the opt out tools
When you install iOS 13.2 you will see a screen which asks if you are willing to share recordings of your Siri requests with Apple.
Apple says that sharing this information is to: “Help improve Siri and Dictation by allowing Apple to store and review audio of your Siri and Dictation interactions from this device.”
However, it is important to note that refusing to share your interactions will not degrade the experience you have using Siri.
If you agree to share recordings but later change your mind, you can change your decision in Settings>Privacy>Analytics and Improvements. Scroll down the page and you’ll see a setting called Improve Siri & Dictation and a toggle to switch this off.
How to delete recordings Apple may already hold
Apple may already possess recordings of your Siri interactions. The company has now made it possible to delete all of these: Settings>Siri & Search>Siri & Dictation History and tap Delete Siri & Dictation History, which is written in red.
You’ll be asked to confirm your request and those recordings will be deleted from Apple’s servers.
Why are these controls required?
A report earlier this year revealed that Apple had been collecting recordings of our Siri interactions, snippets of which were then shared with human operators for a process the company called “grading”.
This wasn’t unusual as every smart speaker/assistant service has a similar way of working.
And, unlike some others in the industry, Apple also tried to anonymize these recordings so they did not relate to you or your account – but personal information still leaked.
This led to a huge outcry during which Apple promised to deliver controls that let customers decide if they want recordings of their Siri interactions shared. This is a promise the company has kept, and that’s a good thing.