Robert McMillan reports that employees of IBM have been barred from using Siri at work. He writes, “If you work for IBM, you can bring your iPhone to work, but forget about using the phone’s voice-activated digital assistant. Siri isn’t welcome on Big Blue’s networks. The reason? Siri ships everything you say to her to a big data center in Maiden, North Carolina. And the story of what really happens to all of your Siri-launched searches, e-mail messages and inappropriate jokes is a bit of a black box. IBM CIO Jeanette Horan told MIT’s Technology Review this week that her company has banned Siri outright because, according to the magazine, ‘The company worries that the spoken queries might be stored somewhere’.”

McMillan adds, “It turns out that Horan is right to worry. In fact, Apple’s iPhone Software License Agreement spells this out: ‘When you use Siri or Dictation, the things you say will be recorded and sent to Apple in order to convert what you say into text,’ Apple says. Siri collects a bunch of other information — names of people from your address book and other unspecified user data, all to help Siri do a better job. How long does Apple store all of this stuff, and who gets a look at it? Well, the company doesn’t actually say. Again, from the user agreement: ‘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 other Apple products and services.’ Because some of the data that Siri collects can be very personal, the American Civil Liberties Union put out a warning about Siri just a couple of months ago.”

Read more here.

Image: Courtesy Siri

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