siri iconWired points to a recent Technology Review interview with IBM chief information officer Jeanette Horan highlighting the issues of the "bring your own device" trend in which employees choose their own mobile devices to bring to the workplace and use for company business. But even when employees wish to use their own devices, IBM locks down a number of features for security reasons, cutting off access to Siri, iCloud, and Dropbox among other services.

Horan calls IBM's security outlook "extremely conservative", noting that the company is concerned about Siri queries being stored on Apple's servers. As Wired notes, Apple does indeed store such information in order to perform transcription and offer results, as well as keeping it for some time in order to help improve overall performance.

It turns out that Horan is right to worry. In fact, Apple’s iPhone Software License Agreement spells this out: “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,” Apple says. Siri collects a bunch of other information — names of people from your address book and other unspecified user data, all to help Siri do a better job.

How long does Apple store all of this stuff, and who gets a look at it? Well, the company doesn’t actually say. Again, from the user agreement: “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.”

Because some of the data that Siri collects can be very personal, the American Civil Liberties Union put out a warning about Siri just a couple of months ago.

Apple is far from the only company to store users' personal information on its servers, but its popularity unsurprisingly places the company in the spotlight and is a particular focus for those such as corporate security personnel seeking to maintain privacy and control over such data.

Top Rated Comments

applesith Avatar
116 months ago
IBM doesn't want proprietary information dictated to Siri because it will be stored on Apple's server. Not surprising.
Score: 27 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Consultant Avatar
116 months ago
So they should ban all search engines and all Google products then?
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
mlmwalt Avatar
116 months ago
IBM doesn't want proprietary information dictated to Siri because it will be stored on Apple's server. Not surprising.

Exactly. I'm surprised you don't hear about it more. Even though data protection is a common sense thing, I wouldn't put my company's stuff into my iCloud account. And I certainly wouldn't put anthing of critical value on my iPhone, even password protected.
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
teknishn Avatar
116 months ago
Sooo, don't use the corporate wifi on your phone. I wouldnt want my bosses knowing what Im doing on the intraweb anyway.
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Stella Avatar
116 months ago
This is an underhanded move by IBM. /QUOTE]

How is it ever underhanded!? IBM feel that SIRI is a security risk so they block it.

In fact, many organizations cut off access to certain websites / ports ( i.e., no FTP ). At my place of work we cannot get to social networks, FTP, nor can we get to the iTunes Appstore or MAS.

This story is a bit of a non story, really.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
convergent Avatar
116 months ago
I believe this much overblown story is being taken out of context, and possibly a complete misquote. IBM expressly forbids using ANY public cloud based service for company work, so this has nothing to do with Apple. Unless there has been a change in policy, the only forbidden use of Siri is from the lock screen before you've typed in your password. It is possible that the CIO is planning a policy change, but I'd be surprised.

IBM has a leading edge BYOD policy that is a model for other companies. Striking the right balance between personal and business use is always a challenge, but I've happily used my Mac and iPhone for years when neither are "official" company platforms. Most company's IT departments would never allow this type of thing. When an employee is permitted to connect their personally owned device to the company network, that comes with some limitations and constraints that provide a layer of data security to the company.

I hope with this attention it will cause Apple to realize they need to better support the enterprise in iOS. RIM has set the standard here with their new OS, in providing a walled off area for protected enterprise functions, while allowing consumer activities outside the box. I would like to see in iOS, this type of thing. There is no reason that you should have to enter a hard password to get to games, music, GPS, phone, and internet browsing. But to access VPN, company email/calendar/contacts, and selected other business apps, there should be the correct authentication and time out controlled by company policy. It would see that this could easily be built into iOS and I think would really give Apple the upper hand in enterprise acceptance.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

samsung experience 1

Samsung's 'iTest' Lets You Try a Galaxy Device on Your iPhone

Thursday April 8, 2021 12:42 pm PDT by
Samsung has launched "iTest," an interactive website experience that's designed to allow iPhone users to test out Android on a Galaxy device, or "sample the other side," as Samsung puts it. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. The iTest website is being advertised in New Zealand, according to a MacRumors reader who came across the feature. Visiting the iTest website on...
sonny 2021 ipad mini pro dummies

Leaked Dummy Units Show iPad Mini 6 With Thick Bezels and Home Button, New iPad Pro Models

Thursday April 8, 2021 2:11 am PDT by
Rumors suggest Apple will release refreshed versions of the iPad mini and iPad Pro models in the first half of this year, potentially as soon as this month, and a new leak today has provided us with a possible preview of what to expect in terms of the devices' overall design and camera prospects. Tech leaker and Apple blogger Sonny Dickson this morning shared images on Twitter showing dummy ...
iMessage Android featured

Apple's Rationale for Not Bringing iMessage to Android Revealed in Legal Documents

Friday April 9, 2021 2:22 am PDT by
It's no secret that Apple sees iMessage as a big enough selling point to keep the service exclusive to Apple devices, however new court filings submitted by Epic Games in its ongoing lawsuit with the company reveal just how Apple executives have rationalized their decision not to develop a version of iMessage for Android. Apple clearly recognizes the power that iMessage has to keep users...
fake airpods 3

Counterfeit 'AirPods 3' Hit the Market Prior to Official Announcement

Friday April 9, 2021 2:45 am PDT by
Apple is expected to launch the third iteration of AirPods in the third quarter of this year. Rumors and reports suggest the new AirPods will feature an updated design more in line with the AirPods Pro, but lacking in "Pro" features such as active noise cancellation. Despite AirPods 3 not yet being officially announced by Apple, counterfeit products of the unreleased earbuds have already hit ...
nba tracking prompt orange

Two-Thirds of iPhone Users Expected to Block Ad Tracking

Friday April 9, 2021 7:19 am PDT by
As many as 68 percent of iPhone users are expected to deny advertisers permission to track them thanks to Apple's App Tracking Transparency feature, in what is beginning to look like a significant blow to the advertising industry (via AdWeek). With the launch of iOS 14.5, apps will have to receive explicit user permission before accessing an iPhone's advertising identifier or IDFA, which is...
iPhone 13 Battery Life Feature

DigiTimes: iPhone 13 Pro Models to Feature 120Hz ProMotion Refresh Rate and 15-20% Less Power Consumption

Friday April 9, 2021 12:52 am PDT by
The two premium "Pro" models of the upcoming iPhone 13 lineup will be equipped with a low-power LTPO display, enabling the iPhones to have a 120Hz refresh rate, according to industry sources cited by Taiwanese publication DigiTimes. According to today's paywalled report, Apple suppliers Samsung and LG Display are in the process of converting parts of their production capacity to produce LTPO ...
ipad pro and macbook pro

iPad and MacBook Production Reportedly Delayed Due to Global Chip Shortage

Thursday April 8, 2021 2:31 am PDT by
Apple is facing a global shortage of certain components for some of its MacBook and iPad models, causing the Cupertino tech giant and its suppliers to postpone production of the products, according to a new report from Nikkei Asia. According to the report, MacBook production is being hindered due to the shortage of chips mounted onto the circuit board before final assembly, which is a key...
ehric

iPhone 12 Mini Missing From Top 5 Best Selling Smartphone List of January 2021

Friday April 9, 2021 4:58 am PDT by
According to market data compiled by Counterpoint Research, Apple's smallest iPhone since the 2016 iPhone SE, the iPhone 12 mini, struggled to obtain a spot in the top five list of best-selling smartphones in January of this year. According to the market data, the iPhone 12 mini came in eighth place for the best-selling smartphone worldwide in the first month of the year. However, the iPhone ...
tmobile 5g modem

T-Mobile Launches Unlimited 5G Home Internet for $60/Month

Wednesday April 7, 2021 2:18 pm PDT by
T-Mobile today hosted an Un-carrier event where the company announced the launch of a a new 5G home internet plan, which is priced at $60 per month and offers unlimited data. The service is available to more than 30 million Americans across much of the United States, including 10 million households in rural areas not typically able to access reliable broadband. Connectivity will be either 4G ...
apple find my network

Apple Announces Find My Network With Support for Third-Party Devices

Wednesday April 7, 2021 10:06 am PDT by
Apple today announced the launch of its Find My network accessory program, which is designed to allow third-party Bluetooth devices to be tracked in the Find My app right alongside your Apple devices. According to Apple, the first accessory companies to take advantage of the new Find My integration include Belkin, Chipolo, and VanMoof, with devices set to be available beginning next week. ...