Apple could face major fine over Siri grading program

How to call, message, and email your contacts using Siri
How to call, message, and email your contacts using Siri (Image credit: iMore)

What you need to know

  • Apple is being investigated by Ireland's Data Protection Commission.
  • The DPC wants to determine if Apple was compliant with their GDPR obligations.
  • Apple could face a fine of €20m.

Although Apple has since changed its policy related to Siri grading, Ireland's Data Protection Commission is launching an inquiry to determine if the cancelled program was compliant with Apple's GDPR obligations.

According to Irish Examiner, if Apple is found guilty, it could be on the hook to pay nearly €20m, or 4% of its annual global turnover, whichever is higher.

The Data Protection Commission (DPC) is engaging with Apple to establish further details on the processing of personal data in the context of the manual transcription of audio recordings collected by their digital assistants and to establish how they believe that such processing of data is compliant with their GDPR obligations.

In July, a report revealed Apple had hired contractors to grade Siri recordings, which reportedly included private user information. Apple admitted to the practice and released an apology, saying it wasn't "fully living up to our high ideals."

Apple has since halted Siri grading and said recordings will no longer be kept by default when the program returns this fall.

Apple is committed to putting the customer at the center of everything we do, which includes protecting their privacy. We created Siri to help them get things done, faster and easier, without compromising their right to privacy. We are grateful to our users for their passion for Siri, and for pushing us to constantly improve.

You can read Apple's FAQ if you want to learn more about how its policies are changing in the future.

Brandon Russell