Today’s iOS 13.2 beta introduces a new option that allows iPhone and iPad users to delete their Siri and Dictation history and opt out of sharing audio recordings, features that Apple promised after being called out for its Siri quality evaluation processes.
Earlier this year, it was discovered that Apple hired contractors to listen to a small percentage of anonymized Siri recordings to evaluate Siri ’s responses with the purpose of improving the assistant’s accuracy and reliability.
A report from one of those contractors who spoke to The Guardian said that the employees working on Siri “regularly” heard “confidential details” while listening to the audio recordings. The contractor also criticized Apple for not making it clear to consumers that some of their Siri recordings were being used for evaluation purposes.
Following the report, Apple suspended its Siri grading practices and told users that it would introduce tools allowing them to opt out of sharing their audio recordings.
iOS 13.2 brings multiple Siri-related privacy features as promised. When installing iOS 13.2, there’s a new splash screen to opt out of sharing audio recordings, with Apple clearly explaining how those recordings are used.
Help Improve Siri and Dictation by allowing Apple to store and review audio of your Siri and Dictation interactions on this iPhone and on any connected Apple Watch or HomePod. You can change this later in the settings for each device.
This data is not associated with your Apple ID, and will only be stored for a limited period.
In the Privacy section of the Settings app, there is indeed an option to turn off the “Improve Siri & Dictation” setting, plus there’s a new setting in the Siri section of the Settings app that lets recordings be deleted entirely.
Delete Siri & Dictation interactions currently associated with this iPhone from Apple servers. Data that has been sampled to help improve Siri and Dictation is no longer associated with this iPhone and will not be deleted.
In addition to these new Siri and Dictation-related privacy features added in iOS 13.2, Apple also says that it is making further changes to its human grading process that will minimize the amount of data that reviewers have access to.