Apple Shuts Down Rumour On iPhone Listening & Recording Conversations

Joanna Estrada
August 10, 2018

In 16 multi-part questions sent to Apple and Alphabet, Google's parent company, the U.S. House Committee on Energy and Commerce has probed how the companies obtain and handle the massive amount of data.

To concerns about microphone recording, he notes that users can give and revoke microphone access from third-party apps, and that recorded Siri interactions are tied to a random user ID, rather than your Apple ID.

"Apple does not and can not monitor what developers do with the customer data they have collected, or prevent the onward transfer of that data, nor do we have the ability to ensure a developer's compliance with their own privacy policies or local law", Apple wrote to lawmakers.

We have worked to design iOS and Apple apps so that the processing of information collected the microphone stays on the device where possible and the information is never shared with Apple or others unless the user takes action to do so.

Getting back to Apple's response to Congress, it's interesting to note that Apple said that it removed apps from the App Store over privacy violations, but declined to say whether it ever banned any developers and said that it's up to devs to tell users why the app has been removed. The request follows in the wake of the Cambridge Analytica affair, where a now-defunct political consulting firm created approximately 71 million USA voter profiles based on data it had harvested from Facebook without user consent in 2015. When we do collect data, we're transparent about it and work to disassociate it from the user. Those hearings, held at the height of the Cambridge Analytica brouhaha, included testimony by Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg. The letter came from Timothy Powderly, Apple's Director of Federal Government Affairs on behalf of Tim Cook.

The letter also contains Apple's response to the committee's 16 questions.

"Not all technology companies operate in the same manner- in fact, the business models and data collection and use practices are often radically different from one another".

A data analytics firm used by Donald Trump's campaign during the 2016 presidential election collected data on millions of Facebook accounts to predict how people will vote at the ballot box.

The controversial data company's product lead spoke to TechRepublic to clarify the firm's role on the Trump campaign and outline a vision for the future of enterprise analytics.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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