Earlier this month, Facebook gave its 1.3 billion users the perfect reason to delete their accounts. Now Apple appears has done the same for its 1.4 billion iPhone and iPad users worldwide.
Last month The Guardian revealed Apple was employing contractors to listen to and “grade” Siri recordings and they “regularly” heard confidential information from iPhone and iPad users, including medical information, drug deals and recordings of couples having sex. And now a new report from the Irish Examiner has given a sense of scale to what was happening.
“Contractors in Cork [Ireland] were expected to each listen to more than 1,000 recordings from Siri every shift, before Apple suspended the practice last month,” explains the Examiner, who got its information from “an employee who had their contract abruptly terminated this week.”
The Examiner understands that over 300 employees at the contractor, Globetech, were let go following the Guardian’s report, which puts the 1,000 recordings per shift into context. Neither Apple nor Globetech have commented on the numbers.
“Mostly it was users with Canadian, Australian or UK accents [who were heard] and there was a smaller team working on users with European languages,” says the employee. Staff at the contractor, Globetech, were then required to transcribe and grade the records to see how Siri was triggered and whether the query was dealt with successfully.