We recently wrote an iPad Tips article about Siri and the things she can do to help you in your daily life. The virtual assistant has the ability to set appointments for you, call your mom, and find out what movies are playing tonight. She also has a sense of humor and will answer some questions with a clever response.
But, did you know that Apple collects and keeps everything that Siri says to you for up to two years? According to a recent report from Wired, Apple openly admits to storing your conversations with Siri, but says the company doesn’t identify you in its files.
Miller assured Wired that Apple keeps these clips private, and even anonymizes the data so that Siri’s responses to you are not kept in your personal file.
Instead, Siri’s conversations are sent to Apple’s data analysis centers and assigned a randomly generated number. All of Siri’s voice clips from you are filed under that number, but your personal information is not linked to it.
After six months, Apple disassociates the voice clip from your number, but keeps that voice file for up to 18 months. It floats around the data center without a connection to any device. These clips are used for testing and product improvement purposes.
“Apple may keep anonymized Siri data for up to two years,” Miller says “If a user turns Siri off, both identifiers are deleted immediately along with any associated data.”
So, even though Apple is storing your secret conversations with Siri, Apple keeps them locked away and only uses them for their own purposes. Miller reminded Wired that users should be careful of what they say to Siri. Even if your data is not linked to your personal account, transcripts of your conversations could reveal personal information about you, your family, or your business.
“Siri works for Apple, so make a note to yourself to really think before you speak.”