Apple Records Users’ Conversations Without Their Knowledge

Apple is once again at the center of a scandal. This time, the indignation of users was caused by the revelation that iPhones record user conversations without permission. 

ZDNet journalists were the first to notice this, and Apple has already confirmed the existence of the error.

In this article, we will tell you the details.

Do you know how to bypass iPhone lock easily? Read more here.

What happened?

After updating smartphones to iOS 15, an error was discovered, thanks to which conversations with the Siri voice assistant were recorded, regardless of whether the user refused this option or not.

Siri records users

The bug automatically activated the “Improve Siri and Dictation” option, which gives Apple permission to record, store, and view user conversations with Siri. If this parameter is active, the manufacturer can save their customers’ conversations with Siri for analysis purposes.

As noted, ZDNet journalists were the first to notice this. The “Siri and Dictation Improvement” function is responsible for transferring and storing recordings of users’ conversations with Siri to Apple servers in order to analyze them and improve the work of the virtual assistant. So, people who had previously disabled this feature could start sharing their data again without knowing it.

Stay up to date with the latest cybersecurity fails in 2022. Read our collection here.

What did the company representatives say?

After Apple discovered the bug, the “Improve Siri and Dictation” option was disabled in iOS 15.2 for many Siri users. In addition, the company stopped viewing any accidentally received records and deleted information obtained from vulnerable devices.

“In iOS 15.4, we disabled settings for many Siri users while we fixed a bug that appeared in iOS 15. This error inadvertently activated the settings for a small part of the devices. After detecting the error, we stopped checking and are deleting the audio received from all affected devices,” Catherine Franklin said.

Apple claims that the detected bug affected only a small number of iPhones. However, the exact number of devices, as well as the number of records collected by mistake, has not been reported. About a year ago, Apple estimated there were more than a billion active iPhones in circulation.

A “small part” of these devices can still equal a fairly large number. To protect your data, we recommend upgrading to iOS 15.4 or later OS version.

Do you use Google Hangouts? Learn more about its security here.

Something similar has already happened

Siri has already turned on the unsolicited recording of conversations without the knowledge of users and transferred data to third parties.

Several users filed a lawsuit against Apple that the Siri voice assistant recorded private conversations of users due to “accidental activation.”

Other Siri fails

As alleged in the court case, Siri recorded conversations without the knowledge of users and transferred data to third parties. 

Then Apple demanded to dismiss the claim, and Judge Jeffrey S. White of the Federal District Court in Oakland (USA) dismissed the part of the claim concerning economic damage to users.

We’ve collected other cybersecurity fails of 2021 here.

What’s new with Apple devices?

Apple plans to equip its own smartphones with the Tap to Pay terminal function. This will allow businesses to accept contactless payments. Tap to Pay will accept funds via Apple Pay settlement, contactless bank cards, or other digital wallet.

To pay for something, you will need to bring your “wallet” to the seller’s device. Payment is made thanks to NFC technology. It is known that the feature will be available for iPhone XS and newer devices of the company.

Read more about NFT technology here.


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