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Smart technology and privacy

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Voice assistants such as Siri are listening (and recording) all of the time. In 2019, The Guardian published a story indicating that Apple was collecting and using this data in a way that was not transparent to the Siri users. As part of their quality control and development process, Apple takes certain conversations between Siri and the user and evaluates them using a “grading” system. Employees evaluate whether the request from the user aligns with Siri’s response, and from this analysis, the scientists building the algorithms can determine whether Siri is functioning effectively. From a product development perspective, this makes perfect sense. They are testing to ensure that the service that they are providing through Siri is effective and getting better—providing more value to the customer. The question is, what is the boundary between data collection for product improvement and consumer value?


Elizabeth Luckman

Clinical Assistant Professor of Business Administration and RC Evans Data Analytics Scholar

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