IBM Bans Siri For Employees Over Security Issues
No matter how much people criticize Apple’s ground breaking personal voice assistant Siri but at the end of the day — “it just works”. But if you own an iPhone 4S and you work for IBM then “it just works” formula won’t work for you. As noted by Wired, IBM’s Chief Information Officer Jeanette Horan in recent interview with MIT’s Technology Review mentioned that the company has banned Siri inside IBM’s headquarters over “security issues”. Horan mentioned in her interview that the company is worried about the data which is being store “somewhere” (Apple’s Servers).
“The company worries that the spoken queries might be stored somewhere.”
We all know that Siri processes every query on Apple’s servers and respond to them accordingly. Siri is continuously evolving by learning from different queries and for that your query has to be processed at Apple’s data centers. Now the Big Blue has some issues with the data which is being transferred from iPhone 4S units which are owned by their employees. And this is not the only services which they’ve restricted on campus, the magazines also noted that the company has also restricted other services like iCloud and Dropbox as well.
It turns out that Horan is right to worry. In fact, Apple’s iPhone Software License Agreement spells this out: “When you use Siri or Dictation, the things you say will be recorded and sent to Apple in order to convert what you say into text,” Apple says. Siri collects a bunch of other information — names of people from your address book and other unspecified user data, all to help Siri do a better job.
How long does Apple store all of this stuff, and who gets a look at it? Well, the company doesn’t actually say. Again, from the user agreement: “By using Siri or Dictation, you agree and consent to Apple’s and its subsidiaries’ and agents’ transmission, collection, maintenance, processing, and use of this information, including your voice input and User Data, to provide and improve Siri, Dictation, and other Apple products and services.”
Because some of the data that Siri collects can be very personal, the American Civil Liberties Union put out a warning about Siri just a couple of months ago.
It is true that Apple stores your data but everybody knows about it and there’s no such hidden agenda behind collecting your data other than making this service better. This is one of the reason we recommended our readers not to run Siri on older iOS devices over random proxy servers because your valuable data IS at stake.
Sorry IBM folks you’re not allowed to search a restaurant nearby. At the end of the day you have to respect the policies of your employer.