Apple confirms Siri remembers your data for two years

By , Apr 19, 2013

Siri promo video (Woman asks for weather)

Apple has finally disclosed how long Siri keeps your personalized data collected and stored on its servers whenever you pick up your iPhone and ask her a question. In a new report published Friday, an Apple representative was quoted confirming the company keeps Siri data stored in the  cloud for two years.

Watchers often express concern over digital voice assistants such as Siri because they store users’ voice clips, opening door to a potential privacy nightmare should this private data ever be compromised. Apple on its part argues it stores anonymized data, and for two years only. Other companies that collect data from users, such as the Internet giant Google and industries like telecommunications, have similar data retention policies in place…

Responding to questions raised by  the American Civil Liberties Union yesterday, Apple on Friday dispatched its spokeswoman Trudy Muller who explained to Wired the firm’s data retention policy governing Siri.

Apple may keep anonymized Siri data for up to two years. If a user turns Siri off, both identifiers are deleted immediately along with any associated data.

Based on the information Muller provided, Wired’s Robert McMillan explains exactly what happens when you use Siri:

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.

Furthermore, Apple “disassociates” your user number from any clip older than six months, also deleting the number from the voice file. What the company also does is keep these disassociated files for up to eighteen more months for “testing and product improvement purposes.”

Nicole Ozer, the American Civil Liberties Union lawyer who first expressed concern over these Siri privacy questions, urges Apple to include information about privacy practices on its Siri FAQ page.

People can reveal all sorts of private information about themselves when using Siri, she said, warning “Siri works for Apple.”

Last March, the IT services giant IBM banned Siri on its network over fear that the virtual assistant could be logging sensitive information.

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  • http://www.facebook.com/micaiah12 Micaiah Martin

    Creepy.

  • Boss

    Good thing I don’t use Siri you can’t trust any bitch ;)

    • iDon’tWantToShareMyDetails

      Siri’s asexual – you’ll have to think for a new insult.

    • ap3604

      Please flag ‘Boss’ above (with the arrow on the right) so that his idiotic comment gets removed.

      • Joe Bobbins

        Why didn’t you just flag it yourself?

  • http://www.facebook.com/joe.jonsen Joe Jonsen

    ummm all Americans need to accept that there is no such thing as personal data or privacy.. just accept it and dot expect the govt not to know what you are doing … so you best bet is not to do anything wring…lol

    • Manuel Angel

      You must have not read the article in the iDownloadBlog that mention how the gov and DOE still cannot track or read into people using iMessage. In other words, what we say is personal and private.

      • https://twitter.com/MrElectrifyer MrElectrifyer

        Lol, and what if that’s what they want you to think?

      • Falk M.

        So you say they now tip the bad guys how to get around their wiretapping? Yeah right…

  • RarestName

    I also heard that your Apple ID stores your name for life.
    -_-

    • Joe Bobbins

      It’s a good idea two have two names: An internet name and a real life name. then you’re good.

      • http://twitter.com/aidanharris1 ✪ aidan harris ✪

        Except if you link a card to youree account that’s irrelevant as they then have the card holders name (usually your card so your real name)…

      • https://twitter.com/MrElectrifyer MrElectrifyer

        One of the reasons you shouldn’t link your credit card to your account. I use FreeMyApps and AppSlot for all my paid app needs. So far, saved $80 on paid apps.

  • http://twitter.com/int3nsive Int3nsive

    Well at least now i know that they keep the data for 2 years.
    Now I need to know for how long Google services / Facebook / Twitter keep my data/photos/gps location/preferences…

    And maybe other applications too, like the revolucionary S-Voice, Google Now…

    • http://twitter.com/aidanharris1 ✪ aidan harris ✪

      At least have the common curtesy to spell revolutionary correctly before you even claim that either of those services are a revolution…

      • http://www.facebook.com/lance.baker87 Lance Baker

        Should be courtesy.

      • http://twitter.com/aidanharris1 ✪ aidan harris ✪

        That would be iSwipes fault. Just like Jeff I’m not the best swiper in the world

      • RarestName

        Well, TouchPal Keyboard > iSwipe. Just saying…

      • http://twitter.com/aidanharris1 ✪ aidan harris ✪

        I’ll give it a try

      • http://twitter.com/int3nsive Int3nsive

        And Sarcasm, do you speak it?

      • http://twitter.com/ytos86 Yaseen AlSuwaidan

        So, it is OK for you to spell wrongly, but not Int3nsive ?

      • http://twitter.com/int3nsive Int3nsive

        you spell wrong -> dumb
        I spell wrong -> iSwipe (AlienMemeGuyHere)

        :D

  • http://www.facebook.com/spencer.beacon Spencer Beacon

    If the artical is correct then just switch Siri off and then on again in the settings app. This way it “supposedly” deleats your stored data. I should really stop talking dirty to her!!!!

  • Joe Bobbins

    A cool JB tweak would make your Siri orders anonymous. But it would probably be illegal maybe not.

    • http://twitter.com/aidanharris1 ✪ aidan harris ✪

      You want to be anonymous (in regards to Siri) it’s simple! Disable Siri and just like the article says your data will be immediately deleted!

      • Joe Bobbiins

        Oh yeah right i forgot about that

  • http://www.facebook.com/sawyer.reavis Sawyer Reavis

    yes im on ios 6.1.2 iphone 4s and siri just keeps spinning when i ask it questions help

  • chjode

    Because Google never saves any of my search queries, right?

  • http://twitter.com/wweraw2112 MR.H

    OMG 2 years for data