IBM announced this week that it has systematically-banned the use of Apple’s intelligent voice assistant – Siri – across all of its employee networks, after it reportedly cited that the questions surrounding the security of data a user gives to the assistant – (and where that data eventually ends up after it is sent to one of Apple’s super-datacenters) – were too great to allow its continued use at the company.
IBM’s CIO, Jeanette Horan, reportedly told MIT’s Technology Review this week that “[IBM] worries that the spoken queries might be [being] stored somewhere.”
Horan and IBM as a whole are certainly right to question this. After all, no-one out there really knows where all those spoken commands you make to Siri actually end up after they are stored. Are they just stored forever? … Does Apple keep a log of how many times Siri has reposed to a specific query? … Is the company keeping record of all the locations of iPhone 4S owners who use the feature for ‘statistical’ reasons? … And what exactly does happen to the actual content of your search query?
If you asked Apple these questions, the firm probably wouldn’t answer you. Yet, they are valid concerns and ones which we think should be taken seriously until they are cleared up.
In the meantime, if you’re an employee of IBM – sure – you can bring your iPhone 4S to work with you, but you can forget being able to ask Siri those all important questions.