Recently, a user on Reddit alleges he/she is an insider who analyzes voice dictation data, reports Sputnik. In the Reddit post titled, “Everything you’ve ever said to Siri/Cortana has been recorded…and I get to listen to it,” user Fallenmyst claims to be one of those workers listening to all of your voice commands — from banal inquiries to steamy sexting — and then evaluating how well the programs interpreted those requests.
“Guys, I’m telling you, if you’ve said it to your phone, it’s been recorded…and there’s a damn good chance a 3rd party is going to hear it,” Fallenmyst wrote. “I heard everything from kiddos asking innocent things like ‘Siri, do you like me?’ to some guy asking Galaxy to lick his butthole. I wish I was kidding.”
Of course, warnings about the recording of voice commands through services like Siri aren’t new and are included in the iOS terms of service. Yes, those long agreements that no one reads and everyone simply clicks through to “accept.”
“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 dictation functionality in other Apple products and services,” the terms read.
In the past, Apple has explained that the Siri voice commands are recorded and stored for up to 18 months, and completely dissociated from your particular phone after six.
BlackBerry has yet to clarify any further details regarding its voice dictation data management. Is it stored for eternity? Is the data attached to your BlackBerry PIN, name, phone number?
We’ve reached out to BlackBerry to see if we can gain further insight into their handling of private data with the BlackBerry Assistant and will update this article accordingly.
All of the data is allegedly used to help the voice recognition programs “learn” to recognize how you speak and to better interpret human voices and commands in all their variety. And part of that “learning” apparently means having its work graded by a real live human.
Until it becomes autonomous, think twice about what you ask/tell the BlackBerry Assistant (or any other voice dictation service) as someone on the other end most likely will be reading/listening to what you have said. That is, if your privacy is of any concern.