venustus

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Apple has joined the dubious company of Google and Amazon in secretly sharing with contractors audio recordings of its users, confirming the practice to The Guardian after a whistleblower brought it to the outlet. The person said that Siri queries are routinely sent to human listeners for closer analysis, something not disclosed in Apple’s privacy policy.

The recordings are reportedly not associated with an Apple ID, but can be several seconds long, include content of a personal nature and are paired with other revealing data, like location, app data and contact details.

Like the other companies, Apple says this data is collected and analyzed by humans to improve its services, and that all analysis is done in a secure facility by workers bound by confidentiality agreements. And like the other companies, Apple failed to say that it does this until forced to.

Apple told The Guardian that less than 1% of daily queries are sent, cold comfort when the company is also constantly talking up the volume of Siri queries. Hundreds of millions of devices use the feature regularly, making a conservative estimate of a fraction of 1% rise quickly into the hundreds of thousands.

This “small portion” of Siri requests is apparently randomly chosen, and as the whistleblower notes, it includes “countless instances of recordings featuring private discussions between doctors and patients, business deals, seemingly criminal dealings, sexual encounters and so on.”

Some of these activations of Siri will have been accidental, which is one of the things listeners are trained to listen for and identify. Accidentally recorded queries can be many seconds long and contain a great deal of personal information, even if it is not directly tied to a digital identity.
 

jogs

Level 19
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Very recently I found in my Whatsapp directory some sound files (voice messages ) from my contacts, but these were never sent to me.
This is very mysterious. How did those messages end up in my phone is really puzzling.
May be there's some glitch in Whatsapp that sends files to wrong contact, but these never get displayed in the chats.
 

Jake Miguel

Level 3
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Very recently I found in my Whatsapp directory some sound files (voice messages ) from my contacts, but these were never sent to me.
This is very mysterious. How did those messages end up in my phone is really puzzling.
May be there's some glitch in Whatsapp that sends files to wrong contact, but these never get displayed in the chats.
Might be shared on some whatsapp group and you ignored it due to excessive notifications? happens to me all the time but those voice notes are from groups. Always.


Anyway, I was expecting something to hear about siri and voice recordings. I knew they were doing it. I was being shown the apps on App stores which I never typed on my phone just spoke about them a few times a day. Yes everyone hears and they are always collecting the data and sharing it with third parties or contractors (whatever it is)
 

jogs

Level 19
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Might be shared on some whatsapp group and you ignored it due to excessive notifications? happens to me all the time but those voice notes are from groups. Always.
Yes I have thought about that. There were four messages, two were from contacts that are in group but the other two were not present in any group. That's what really surprised me.
May be they were sent to me but deleted by the sender. The link to the media in the chat got deleted but the media remained.
 
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Slyguy

Level 43
Anyone surprised?

They've also voice printed millions of Americas, and can cross-track you through other peoples phones in the area that have FB installed, even if you don't on your phone. Some apps, like Venmo, actually record video of you when you send money. Even with permissions disabled.

There are several ways facebook and other apps get around permissions from the main app. Facebook, the app, is only one part of it. It has other services which have its own permission, but you can't see them and depending on the phone they are system permission level service apps. Play store technically pre-approves the permission for those, otherwise even push notifications wouldn't work and that is the key, burying the surveillance within the pre-approved service apps. This includes access to the microphone API regardless of Google claiming this is more secure. Facebook themselves never get the raw audio, the app/service merely transcodes it into code (think of a tag cloud), the transcribed code is compressed and hidden behind service pushes.

Not only is the purpose of this for surveillance and target identification but also for listening and identifying what is playing on a TV, radio, etc.
 

Slyguy

Level 43
I was surprised and dumbfounded when I used iOS cleaners that showed 800MB of device telemetry on my mom's phone. Now, I use 3utools and PhoneClean. I did write a guide after extensive research and trial and errors. Deep Clean iOS devices using 3uTools on Windows
Thank you! Recently one of my children switched to iOS because 'it's what the kids have' and I have been contemplated methods to clean it since Apple does a good job of restricting apps in their store from increasing privacy.
 

LDogg

Level 30
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Our privacy is being infringed to a greater extent these days by all the major players...google,apple microsoft,security products,smart appliances..etc.!!
Sad times indeed.:mad:
I reflect the same opinion, this is what happens in an outraged, get offended by everything, privacy evasion society.

~LDogg
 

Vasudev

Level 29
Verified
I am never surprised by this at all. Hope someone sues Apple based of a Privacy evasion pretense basis, same thesis for Amazon's Echo as well.

~LDogg
I think those people will be silenced by bribes in App store, say 1000$ to spend on App store and a new iphone XS or XS Max to get rid off their unsold inventory.
 
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