Everything You Ask Siri Is Stored By Apple For Up To Two Years

Siri

Do you think Siri instantly forgot all those strange questions and requests you asked it the moment you pressed your home button, then you’re wrong. Siri remembers. Well, Apple does; the Cupertino company has confirmed this week that it stores every Siri request you make for up to two years.

Apple has been fairly quiet about what it does with Siri data since the feature made its debut on the iPhone 4S back in 2011. But in response to concerns about its privacy policy this week, Apple spokeswoman Tracy Muller explained to Wired what happens in the background when you put the digital assistant to work.

Everything you ask Siri is sent to Apple’s data farm for analysis, Wired reports. Apple then generates a random number to represent each user and every voice file it receives from you is associated with your number. But as far as Apple’s system is concerned, that’s all you are — a number; it doesn’t keep your Apple ID, your email address, or any personal information.

Once your voice recording is six months old, Apple “disassociates” your number from it, but the company holds onto the clip for up to 18 months after that. Why? Simply to help improve Siri.

To me, that all sounds pretty reasonable. Apple may have some voice recordings from me, and it may have a number to go along with them. But that’s pretty much all it has. However, the company hasn’t really made any of this clear to its users.

According to Nicole Ozer, the American Civil Liberties Union lawyer who first questioned Siri’s privacy policy, Apple should be doing more to make its users aware of how their data is used. Ozer believes the privacy policy should be accessible from Apple’s Siri FAQ so that customers can read it before that actually begin using the feature.

“There is no good reason for Apple to not include information about privacy practices on their Siri FAQ page,” Ozer told Wired.

Ozer also notes that even though Siri may not be linked to you, you should be cautious about what you tell it. Your voice recordings could reveal “sensitive things about you, your family, or business,” she added.

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About the author

Killian BellKillian Bell is a staff writer based in the U.K. He has an interest in all things tech and also covers Android over at CultofAndroid.com. You can follow him on Twitter via @killianbell.

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