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Hold The Phone and Stop It Siri!--Apple Was Making Recordings of People Without Their Knowledge--Even When Siri Wasn't On- Even When You Previously Opted Out!
FOR ABOUT 2 MONTHS, WHEN iOS15 CAME OUT, APPLE WAS RECORDING AND ANALYZING PEOPLE'S REQUESTS AND CONVERSATIONS (AND ARGUMENTS AND WHATEVER ELSE YOU CAN IMAGINE..) EVEN WHEN THEY WEREN'T USING SIRI! WHAT?!
We've been telling you for years that using voice enabled assistants is just asking for trouble. Remember Talking Barbie?
Apple was first tagged for recording users without their permission back in 2019. Obviously, the company has invested tons in privacy protection and we do love the Nutrition Labels.
Apple Prides Itself on Privacy But You Still Have Watch Out For Siri
When iOS came out in September of 2021, we were concerned about a number of things. But ZDNet has been reporting that Apple sort of accidentally acknowledged that between then and when 15.2 launched in mid-December, 2021, iPhone and iPad users who had previously turned OFF the Share Analytic Data With Apple tab, had it automatically turned ON again. Without their knowledge.
If you value your privacy, you may want to keep your passwords off of Online Password Savers- Here's a lovely option. Click to learn more about Password safety.
Tip: Every time you update operating software or apps, take a quick look at the Privacy Settings and Siri to make sure this doesn't happen to you.
Actually, I'm all for saying NO to Siri all together.I mean really, no one wants all their business hanging out there. Just ahead I'll walk through how to be super sure Siri is not listening or looking. Also, if you did update to 15- make sure you go ahead and go to 15.3 AND make sure also you do the Off-Means-No-EMF exposure setting! I'll show you how at the end of the article.
A whistle blower who used to listen to and transcribe hundreds of these recordings a day, told The Guardian newspaper that
“These recordings were often taken outside of any activation of Siri, eg in the context of an actual intention from the user to activate it for a request. These processings were made without users being aware of it, and were gathered into datasets to correct the transcription of the recording made by the device.”
YIKES. I'm sorry but the thought of my smartphone, my most personal, personal possession, recording me while it's just sitting on the table freaks me out! If you're like me, let's say no to Siri and to Apple collecting all your data.
Follow These Easy Steps To Turn off Siri and delete stored recordings on your iOS device:
- Go to Settings:
- Scroll to General > Keyboards > Turn off dictation. This is important because Apple Will Also get any RECORDINGS you Dictate. If you like to speak your text messages, then this might not be a setting you want to turnoff. Just be mindful that whatever you're saying in that message can be sent to Apple, just like the Siri recordings.
- Go back to Settings > Siri & Search > Turn off Listen for "Hey Siri". This is probably the most important privacy move you can make.
- This is a great opportunity to make sure Apple doesn't have access to your Siri recordings or anything you dictated.Scroll down to Siri and Dictation history, and then Tap Delete Siri and Dictation History.
- Next, turn off all the toggles below that, except Show When Listening, so you'll know if by some odd chance, Siri is listening.
There Are More Ways Through Siri and Search, That Apple Collects Your Data, Analyzes It and Shares It or Uses It To Sell Ads
- Using Siri Suggestions
- Using Siri Look Up
- Typing in Search Spotlight
- Safari Search
- Images search in messages
- Learn From This App
If It's In Siri and Search, Apple Warns Us That It Is "Learning" From the actions you're taking. To me, learning looks a lot like Tracking.
Facebook Stock Fell By 25% recently saying that it was Apples Do Not Track policy- the one that let's you opt out of being "tracked across apps. Facebook uses the information it gets from tracking you to let advertisers "target" an ad based on what you like to look at, search and click on, to name a few.
Apple says it does not track you for advertising. However, it does say the it takes all that information that it "learns" from logging what you do in Siri And Search
Apple learns(records/tracks data) from your interactions with Apps via Siri and Search and it says, it may use your account information, name, gender, downloads, purchase subscriptions, the news you read, what you search for and what you click on etc. and puts you in a group of people using the catch title of "Segments" and lets advertisers target you Segment to serve you ads.
So Apple is essentially using your data to sell ads-
S0 far it looks like it's just ads in the App Store but that doesn't mean that won't change.
And by the way, Apple uses "Contextual Information" to serve you ads-
your location-if you grant it, your search on the App Store and the news you read and stocks you watch.
You Can Limit Some Of This Information By Saying No To Siri And Search:
Then Be Sure To Go Into Each App And Turn Off Learn From This App aka "Track Me On This App"
- You're scrolling Instagram, you search #lipgloss, then you might even land on a Kardashian announcing her favorite shade.
- Siri records this action on your phone
- You open Google and maybe Siri shows you lip gloss selections or you go to your News app and you might see a story on Khole, Kim or Kendall
Now the interesting and hard to interpret part of this "Siri learning" is that Apple says it's not stored on their servers- but Apple also says that your Usage Data - which is "Data about your activity on and use of our offerings, such as app launches within our services, including browsing history; search history; product interaction; crash data, performance and other diagnostic data" is data it collects on you.
So if I were you, I would, toggle off "Learn From This App" on every single app. Then I would go back to the main Settings Page and scroll through the Apple installed apps like Messages, News and Mail etc and turn off Learn From This App on each one of those.
Learn from this app seems creepy to me.
Believe it or not- another setting to disable: Turn Off Safari Suggestions
Apple even tells us we have choice and control, so now that we know that when we use Safari Suggestions which used to be called Spotlight Suggestions, our devices may send information such as location, topics of interest, your search queries, suggestions you have selected, apps you use, and related device usage data to Apple. Again Apple says this goes anonymously. But why does have to go to Apple at all? Apparently, Apple says it won't if we disable this option.
If you do not want Siri Suggestions to send your information to Apple, you can disable Siri Suggestions in Search and Siri Suggestions in Look Up by going to Settings > Siri & Search. To disable Safari Suggestions, go to Settings > Safari and tap to turn off Safari Suggestions.
Personally, I use Startpage instead of Safari for Searching. I show you how you can grab that onto your home screen below. See if you like it.
Finally- One MoreThing To Turn Off That Will Afford You A Bit More Privacy: Analytics and Improvements
Get The Ultimate Privacy protection: The Faraday Crossbody
Tip: If you did update to 15, please update to 15.3 which is where Apple Made The Fix.
AND Here's How To Turn Off The Feature That Keeps Your Phone Emitting RF Radiation or Wireless Signal- Even When It's Off!
This update features "battery" extension programming which leaves your phone ON, even when your phone is powered off.
Here's how that on while it's off feature works: This operating system update includes a new feature that allows iPhone to send BlueTooth signal, plus the EMF radiation that goes with it, if you utilize the Find My Phone feature called Find My Network.
Apple has programmed the ability to access what ever battery power is left when the phone is powered completely off, to send Blue Tooth signal so that the Find My Phone option will keep on working until the battery dies completely. OR until you put your phone in a Faraday which stops it from getting or sending signal.
Here's How To Make Sure That Tracking While iPhone is OFF feature is not enabled.
I wrote an earlier blog with details about how to turn off the nifty new iOS feature that allows iPhone to stay "ON" when it's completely OFF. If that seems like an option you're not interested in
Go to FIND My under settings
Make Sure To Toggle Off:
- Find My Network
- Notify Me Of My Last Location
We have lots of these Privacy and EMF Radiation Protectors To Choose From
The Faraday That's Not Fancy, But Nice
Get A Copy Of Your Apple Data
Apple Let's You Erase Recordings Less Than Six Months Old - but you can also get a copy of your data.
Want a copy of Your Siri Recordings? Honestly I don't know if you can get them, but you can ask for a copy of your Data. Apple says it will send you copies of what you use - so perhaps that includes your Siri recordings.
To get a copy of your Apple Data do this:
- Sign in To Your Apple Account. Scroll Down to Data and Privacy- Click Manage Your Privacy Settings
- Then SIGN IN AGAIN. Yep that's what they make you do
- Click on Manage Your Data And Privacy
- Click on Request A Copy of Your Data. You'll then get a notification that Apple will prepare a copy of your data, notify you and then you'll have a limited time to download it.
Let me know if any of you use Siri and actually do get a copy of your recordings.
If you'd like to know more about the microphones that are recording you on all your devices and take steps to silence them, click here.
A nice substitute for Safari Search is Duck Duck Go but I added Startpage to my Home Screen And I Like Using It!