When IBM revealed that it had banned its workers from using Siri, it could easily have been a throwback the halcyon days of its rivalry with Apple.
As it turns out however, Big Blue’s fears — that all those queries asked of Siri had to being stored somewhere — are justified.
According to Wired, the validation of IBM’s fears is plainly visible in Apple’s Software License Agreement:
“When you use Siri or Dictation, the things you say will be recorded and sent to Apple in order to convert what you say into text”.
That means Apple definitely stores your search queries, at least for a time. Quite how long that it is, it doesn’t say. The Cupertino-based giant instead notes that if you choose to use Siri, you choose to play by its rules:
“By using Siri or Dictation, you agree and consent to Apple’s and its subsidiaries’ and agents’ transmission, collection, maintenance, processing, and use of this information, including your voice input and User Data, to provide and improve Siri, Dictation, and other Apple products and services.”
Speaking to Wired, the developer of the original Siri app, Edward Wrenbeck said that privacy was always a concern with the voice-based assistant, especially for corporate entities.
“Just having it known that you’re at a certain customer’s location might be in violation of a non-disclosure agreement,” he said.
The tech publication speculates that one reason IBM chose to ban Siri when it allows its employees to use Google is because Apple’s voice assistant can be used to send emails. This would have opened up the possibility of confidential IBM information making its way into Apple’s hands.
IBM may also have targeted Siri specifically and not Android phones because their voice assistant apps don’t allow you to compose emails verbally.