Microsoft tweaks privacy policy to admit humans can listen to Skype Translator and Cortana audio

Microsoft is the latest tech giant to amend its privacy policy after media reports revealed it uses human contractors to review audio recordings of Skype and Cortana users. A section in the policy on how the company uses personal data now reads (emphasis ours): Our processing of personal data for these purposes includes both automated […]

Amazon’s lead EU data regulator is asking questions about Alexa privacy

Amazon’s lead data regulator in Europe, Luxembourg’s National Commission for Data Protection, has raised privacy concerns about its use of manual human reviews of Alexa AI voice assistant recordings. A spokesman for the regulator confirmed in an email to TechCrunch it is discussing the matter with Amazon, adding: “At this stage, we cannot comment further […]

Daily Crunch: Apple responds to Siri privacy concerns

The Daily Crunch is TechCrunch’s roundup of our biggest and most important stories. If you’d like to get this delivered to your inbox every day at around 9am Pacific, you can subscribe here. 1. Apple suspends Siri response grading after privacy concerns After The Guardian ran a story last week about how Siri recordings are […]

Google ordered to halt human review of voice AI recordings over privacy risks

A German privacy watchdog has ordered Google to cease manual reviews of audio snippets generated by its voice AI.  This follows a leak last month of scores of audio snippets from the Google Assistant service. A contractor working as a Dutch language reviewer handed more than 1,000 recordings to the Belgian news site VRT which […]

Siri recordings ‘regularly’ sent to Apple contractors for analysis, claims whistleblower

Apple has joined the dubious company of Google and Amazon in secretly sharing with contractors audio recordings of its users, confirming the practice to The Guardian after a whistleblower brought it to the outlet. The person said that Siri queries are routinely sent to human listeners for closer analysis, something not disclosed in Apple’s privacy […]

Apple could be adding Siri Shortcuts and Screen Time to macOS

Apple wants to add more iOS features to macOS according to a report from 9to5Mac’s Guilherme Rambo. And it starts with improvements to Siri. While Siri has been available on macOS for a while, it feels like a scaled-down version of Siri. Sure, you can ask for the weather, NBA scores or a word translation. […]

The damage of defaults

Apple popped out a new pair of AirPods this week. The design looks exactly like the old pair of AirPods. Which means I’m never going to use them because Apple’s bulbous earbuds don’t fit my ears. Think square peg, round hole. The only way I could rock AirPods would be to walk around with hands […]

Apple’s increasingly tricky international trade-offs

Far from Apple’s troubles in emerging markets and China, the company is attracting the ire of what should really be a core supporter demographic naturally aligned with the pro-privacy stance CEO Tim Cook has made into his public soapbox in recent years — but which is instead crying foul over perceived hypocrisy. The problem for this subset […]

Siri Shortcuts app gets updated with weather, alarms, timers and more

Alongside today’s announcements of new iPads and Mac, Apple also rolled out an updated version of its Siri Shortcuts app. The app, first introduced at WWDC, arrived with iOS 12 as a way to unlock Siri’s potential by allowing users to create their own custom voice commands and workflows. Now, it can do a few […]

Committed to privacy, Snips founder wants to take on Alexa and Google, with blockchain

Earlier this year we saw the headlines of how the users of popular voice assistants like Alexa and Siri and continue to face issues when their private data is compromised, or even sent to random people. In May it was reported that Amazon’s Alexa recorded a private conversation and sent it to a random contact. […]