What you need to know
- A former Apple contractor has written to the EU, calling for action over Apple's Siri data collection.
- Thomas le Bonniec previously worked in Apple's Cork offices, transcribing Siri user requests.
- He says that Apple, and other big companies, are violating fundamental rights by collecting massive amounts of data.
A former Apple contractor has written to the EU over his concerns regarding Apple's policy of collecting and listening to Siri data.
Thomas le Bonniec worked as a subcontractor for Apple in its Cork Offices, before quitting due to "ethical concerns." As The Guardian reports, Le Bonniec has now written to the EU stating:
In August of 2019, Apple was rocked by a scandal over the news that Apple contractors were paid to listen to thousands of Siri recordings a day. It seemed strange that Apple would outsource the listening to of Siri recordings to a third party, especially when it emerged that some recordings featured incredibly private customer information, including discussions between doctors and patients, business deals, criminal activity, and sexual encounters.
Le Bonniec appears to have been employed by Apple as a subcontractor as part of this operation, and at the time of leaving in 2019 told The Guardian:
Apple has since changed its policy, hiring in-house employees to grade Siri recordings, and offering customers the opportunity to opt-out of having their voice recordings being used, as well as asking any stored recordings be deleted. In his letter to the EU, the whistleblower stated:
Whilst not mentioning any changes Apple has made to its policy since last summer's revelations, Le Bonniec seems more focused on the fact that Apple faced no scrutiny at the time the revelations were made.
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Stephen Warwick has written about Apple for five years at iMore and previously elsewhere. He covers all of iMore's latest breaking news regarding all of Apple's products and services, both hardware and software. Stephen has interviewed industry experts in a range of fields including finance, litigation, security, and more. He also specializes in curating and reviewing audio hardware and has experience beyond journalism in sound engineering, production, and design.
Before becoming a writer Stephen studied Ancient History at University and also worked at Apple for more than two years. Stephen is also a host on the iMore show, a weekly podcast recorded live that discusses the latest in breaking Apple news, as well as featuring fun trivia about all things Apple. Follow him on Twitter @stephenwarwick9