Apple Inc said on Thursday it is suspending its global internal program for “grading” a portion of user Siri commands after some consumers raised concerns about the program.
The Cupertino, California-based technology giant employs people that listen to less than 1% of Siri commands in order to improve the voice-based digital assistant. Concerns over technology companies listening to and analyzing what is spoken to voice assistants started to be raised after Bloomberg News first reported that Amazon.com Inc and Apple had teams analyzing recordings earlier this year.
Last week, the Guardian reported that Apple contractors said that they often hear sex, drug deals and confidential medical information.
“We are committed to delivering a great Siri experience while protecting user privacy,” Apple said in a statement.
“While we conduct a thorough review, we are suspending Siri grading globally. Additionally, as part of a future software update, users will have the ability to choose to participate in grading.”
The company doesn’t disclose directly in iOS that it uses a portion of recordings for its “grading” process, but it is mentioned in a company white paper about product security. Apple says that the recordings aren’t tied to identifiable information about a user.