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Linked by Jason Snell

Apple suspends human Siri monitoring

Apparently stung by criticism over a program that involved human beings listening to Siri audio samples, Apple has announced that it is temporarily suspending the program and will allow users to choose whether to participate in the future. Matthew Panzarino at TechCrunch reports:

In response to concerns raised by a Guardian story last week over how recordings of Siri queries are used for quality control, Apple is suspending the program world wide. Apple says it will review the process that it uses, called grading, to determine whether Siri is hearing queries correctly, or being invoked by mistake.

In addition, it will be issuing a software update in the future that will let Siri users choose whether they participate in the grading process or not…

“We are committed to delivering a great Siri experience while protecting user privacy,” Apple said in a statement to TechCrunch. “While we conduct a thorough review, we are suspending Siri grading globally. Additionally, as part of a future software update, users will have the ability to choose to participate in grading.”

It’s the right choice, though it’s unfortunate that Apple had to be moved to action by bad press and then took six days to follow up its weak non-apology explanation. I will be happy to opt out of this feature the moment Apple lets me.