Irish Regulators in Talks with Apple over Siri Quality Control Program

Apple stoked a controversy when it was caught allowing contractors access to Siri recordings. Now Irish regulatory authority, Data Protection Commissioner is once again investigating Apple’s Siri quality control process on the request of the former contractor.

Former Apple contractor, Thomas Le Bonniec had requested European data protection regulators on May 20 to investigate Apple’s practices. Graham Doyle, Deputy Commissioner at the DPC was quoted as follows “The DPC engaged with Apple on this issue when it first arose last summer and Apple has since made some changes.”

However, we have followed up again with Apple following the release of this public statement and await responses,” he said, in reference to the letter. “In addition, it should be noted that the European Data Protection Board is working on the production of guidance in the area of voice assistant technologies.

As of now Apple has refrained from responding for a comment. The company took flak last year after contractors revealed that they had access to users Siri recordings. Apparently, Apple made employees listen to Siri recordings for quality control purposes. Meanwhile, the employees reportedly heard sensitive information that could be traced back to owners despite data anonymization.

In August last year Apple withdrew its Siri quality control program and decided to change the way it works. Shortly thereafter, Apple ended Siri’s voice grading work that it had assigned to contractors. Since then the Siri quality control is taken care of by Apple employees who only have access to minimal Siri voice recordings for the quality control process.

Irish DPC is now looking into the matter and will ensure that Apple is following due procedure when it comes to handling Siri recordings. It is also worth noting that Apple is facing a class-action lawsuit for letting contractors listen to private Siri recordings.

[via Reuters]