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Friday, August 02, 2019, 16:13
Apple halts Siri response grading program after privacy concerns
By Xinhua
Friday, August 02, 2019, 16:13 By Xinhua

A woman displays "Siri", voice-activated assistant technology, on an Apple iPhone 4S in Taipei on July 30, 2012. (PHOTO/ AFP)

Apple Inc said on Friday it suspended its global program where it analyzed recordings from users interacting with its voice assistant Siri, after some privacy concerns were raised about the program. 

While we conduct a thorough review, we are suspending Siri grading globally, an Apple spokeswoman said in a statement

Apple's decision comes in the light of a report from in Guardian last week which said the company's contractors around the globe tasked with reviewing the recordings regularly heard confidential information and private conversations. 

READ MORE: Tencent unveils Siri-like digital assistant for WeChat users

"While we conduct a thorough review, we are suspending Siri grading globally," an Apple spokeswoman said in a statement, adding that in a future software update, users will be able to opt out of the program. 

Siri, Apple's iconic voice assistant, allows users to work their iPhone without using their hands, and can send messages, make calls and open multiple applications with voice commands alone. 

Consumers have become accustomed to calling out names for popular voice assistants, such as Amazon.com Inc's Alexa, Google Inc's Google Assistant, among others. 

ALSO READ: Alexa allies with Cortana to take on Google Assistant, Siri

In an effort to perform quality checks and improve the voice assistant's responses, contractors graded Siri's answers to user queries, the Guardian reported. They also looked at whether the response was triggered accidentally, without a deliberate query from the user, the newspaper said.

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