How to Prevent Apple Employees From Listening to Your Siri Commands


Apple has started rolling out new options for managing Siri data—most importantly the ability to opt-out of having Siri audio clips reviewed by Apple employees. Users will also be able to submit Siri data deletion requests in the near future as well.

These new features have been appearing in the latest round of OS updates for Apple devices and should be reaching the public soon.  It’s good to see Apple responding to recent criticism over letting employees use recorded Siri interactions to help develop new features and fine-tune the AI assistant’s accuracy.

While Apple handled this data with more finesse and security than other companies, it was basically impossible to opt-out of the program without completely disabling Siri and deleting your entire command history—but the upcoming iOS 13.2, iPadOS 13.2, MacOS 10.15.1, tv 13.2, and WatchOS 6.1 updates will all include the new opt-out and deletion requests for your Siri data.

How to Prevent Apple Employees From Listening to Your Siri Commands
How to Prevent Apple Employees From Listening to Your Siri Commands

Better yet, you can get the features early by enrolling your device(s) into to Apple OS beta program. Once you do, here’s how you can start opting-out of the audio reviews

Did you know?

Although Apple does not explicitly disclose it in its consumer-facing privacy documentation, a small proportion of Siri recordings are passed on to contractors working for the company around the world.

They are tasked with grading the responses on a variety of factors, including whether the activation of the voice assistant was deliberate or accidental, whether the query was something Siri could be expected to help with and whether Siri’s response was appropriate.

Apple says the data is used to help Siri and dictation in order to understand you better and recognize what you say. But the company does not explicitly state that that work is undertaken by humans who listen to the pseudonymized recordings.

Opt-in or out of the Siri audio review program

  1. Go to Settings > Privacy > Analytics.

2. Disable “Improve Siri and Dictation.” This will remove you from the clip review program; enabling the setting will opt you back in.

If you decide to let Apple review your Siri clips, Apple stresses that only Apple employees—not third-party contractors—will have access to the clips. Those who opt-out may still have their commands reviewed, but only in the form of computer-generated and fully anonymized text transcripts.

You’ll find a full explanation of how your Siri data is used by going to Settings > Privacy > Analytics and Improvements > About Siri.

Delete Siri command history

As for wiping you Siri history, you can now make deletion requests by going to Settings > Siri and Search > Siri History. Those who don’t want to fully opt-out of the audio review program for whatever reason should take note of this feature, since deleting Siri data within 24 hours of making a command will prevent it from being used by Apple to improve Siri.


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