Apple and Google have reportedly put a pause in their “grading” program. A process where both tech giants review the recordings of several users who had interacted with their respective digital assistant.
According to Reuters, the decision to stop the reviews came after the British news company, the Guardian, published a report about contractors hired by Apple tasked them with reviewing sets of private and confidential questions, tasks, and conversations that took place between Apple’s Siri and its consumers.
The concept of a big tech company listening in on its customers or recording their private conversations isn’t exactly new. Like Apple, it was leaked that Google also hired contractors to listen on some of its Assistant’s recordings. And transcribing them into readable text. Of the more than 1000 recording, 153 of them were not prompted by the “OK Google” or “Hey Google” voice activation command.
For the record, Google does provide an option for its users to completely turn off the storing of audio data or to auto-delete said data, either in three or 18 months interval. The same is also applicable for Amazon’s Alexa.
The fear of the major tech brands listening in its customers’ conversation or scrutinising data is not unwarranted. Such was the case with Facebook; after the Cambridge Analytica scandal and news that it was giving other tech giants a look at its user data, some users and many politicians have called for greater transparency from the company.