How to Delete your Siri voice recordings from Apple’s servers is confusing
Last night, Apple joined Google in stopping its program of having human graders tune in to client voice directions recorded by its voice assistance. Apple didn’t specify whether or not it was actually ceasing whether those recordings still take place at all. I asked and haven’t received a clear answer.
For the majority of Apple’s well-earned notoriety for securing protection, once in a while the real controls it gives to users to handle their data settings are weak, opaque, or non existent. It’s ironic because Apple has a much better set of default technologies and policies when it comes to user data. In general, Apple wants to avoid having your data and make it easier for you to stop sharing it with others.
DELETE VOICE RECORDINGS FROM APPLE’S SERVERS
Here’s how to delete your recorded voice remarks on an iPhone — but you’ll need to repeat similar processes on every Apple device you own. What you’re going to do is delete all of the information Apple gets from Siri, including recordings of your voice. But the way you do that isn’t by going to the Privacy section of your settings. Instead, do this:
- Go to “Settings” > “Siri & Search”
- Turn off all the ways there are to activate Siri. There are two: “Listen for ‘Hey Siri’” and “Press Side Button for Siri.”
- When you turn off the last way to activate Siri, that effectively turns Siri off. You’ll get a warning that there is one more step you need to take to delete your data from Apple’s servers.
- Go to “Settings” > “General” > “Keyboard.” Scroll down to where you see “Enable Dictation.” When you tick that to off, you’ll get a warning that if you ever want to use it again, you’ll have to go through some re-uploading.
CHECKING NEARLY RANDOM BOXES AND DON’T SAY ANYTHING CLOSE TO “DELETE MY DATA”
You may have been asking why I am strident to the point that Apple has an issue here, however consider how peculiar the above advances truly are. These are dim examples on different levels.
First, the “privacy” section of the iPhone’s settings doesn’t have anything related to deleting your Siri data. Second, the way you disable Siri isn’t to just uncheck “Use Siri,” but instead uncheck what seems like nothing more than different options for activating Siri. Thirdly and most egregiously: there is no way to know that unchecking those options is how you delete data you might not want Apple to have. To make sense of that, you need to tap the “Our way to deal with security” connect on Apple’s protection page or, as I referenced above, Googling it.
WAY TO STOP APPLE FROM KEEPING VOICE RECORDINGS OF SIRI
THE ONLY WAY REGULAR USERS HAVE TO STOP APPLE FROM KEEPING VOICE RECORDINGS IS TO TURN OFF SIRI AND DICTATION AND NEVER USE EITHER OF THEM AGAIN
Recently, 9to5Mac indicated to a downloadable iOS profile created by a security researcher that should stop server-side logging. It looks relatively innocuous to my untrained eye, but it’s never a good idea. Just install profiles from the internet, so I recommend against it.
Unfortunately, the only way regular users have to stop Apple from keeping voice recordings. The way is to turn off Siri and Dictation and never use either of them again. Apple takes a strong privacy stance, but where it should be doing better by its users.
This is all terrible. But here is the good news: Apple’s data practices are much, much more private than what Google or Amazon do. It doesn’t track you for advertising purposes across the entire web. It doesn’t want to know your location or what you’ve purchased.