Jeanette Horan, IBM CEO, has banned the use of iPhone app Siri in the company.
Siri, the Apple digital assistant that you can talk to for sending e-mails, searching locations, and even sharing jokes, is banned from the networks of IBM because Horan, in an interview with Technology Review, said the company is worried “that the spoken queries might be stored somewhere.”
Indeed all the voice queries transfer to a huge data center located in Maiden, North Carolina. It can be read in the Software License Agreement of the Apple iPhone that “when you use Siri or Dictation, the things you say will be recorded and sent to Apple in order to convert what you say into text.”
The license agreement further adds, “by using Siri or Dictation, you agree and consent to Apple’s and its subsidiaries’ and agents’ transmission, collection, maintenance, processing, and use of this information, including your voice input and User Data, to provide and improve Siri, Dictation, and other Apple products and services.”
As such, privacy advocates, including the American Civil Liberties Union, were concerned that Siri is getting personally identifiable information from users. According to Edward Wrenbeck, Siri’s lead developer, “Just having it known that you’re at a certain customer’s location might be in violation of a non-disclosure agreement.”
Although he adds, “I really don’t think it’s something to worry about.”
IBM’s primary concern stems from the fact that one can use Siri to send e-mail messages, and if the company continues to use the service, confidential IBM e-mails might find their way into Apple.