Siri Keeps Your Data For Two Years

New submitter LeadSongDog writes with news that Apple has provided information on how long it holds onto voice search data used by its digital assistant software Siri. Speaking to Wired, an Apple representative said the data is kept for two years after the initial query. “Here’s what happens. Whenever you speak into Apple’s voice activated personal digital assistant, it ships it off to Apple’s data farm for analysis. Apple generates a random numbers to represent the user and it associates the voice files with that number. This number — not your Apple user ID or email address — represents you as far as Siri’s back-end voice analysis system is concerned. Once the voice recording is six months old, Apple “disassociates” your user number from the clip, deleting the number from the voice file. But it keeps these disassociated files for up to 18 more months for testing and product improvement purposes.” This information came in response to requests for clarification of Siri’s privacy policy, which was not very clear as written. The director of privacy group Big Brother Watch said, “There needs to be a very high justification for retaining such intrusive data for longer than is absolutely necessary to provide the service.”

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