[..] according to The Guardian’s whistleblower, we are learning that nothing has changed.
Revealing his identity for the first time, Thomas le Bonniec, a contractor employed to listen to and grade Siri recordings, has written to data protection regulators stating that Apple “keeps ignoring and violating fundamental rights and continues their massive collection of data.”
Describing his role in detail, he writes:
“I listened to hundreds of recordings every day, from various Apple devices (eg. iPhones, Apple Watches, or iPads). These recordings were often taken outside of any activation of Siri, eg in the context of an actual intention from the user to activate it for a request. These processings were made without users being aware of it, and were gathered into datasets to correct the transcription of the recording made by the device.
"The recordings were not limited to the users of Apple devices, but also involved relatives, children, friends, colleagues, and whoever could be recorded by the device. The system recorded everything: names, addresses, messages, searches, arguments, background noises, films, and conversations. I heard people talking about their cancer, referring to dead relatives, religion, sexuality, pornography, politics, school, relationships, or drugs with no intention to activate Siri whatsoever."
While Le Bonniec rounds primarily on Apple, he is also highly critical of the lack of action taken against Apple and big tech companies in general, saying “I am extremely concerned that [they] are basically wiretapping entire populations”.
It is important to note that Apple’s so-called wiretapping is not an isolated case. Amazon, Google and Facebook have admitted to similar practices [..]