Apple's Siri Tracking: Privacy Implications

Apple's Siri

Privacy has always been a central concern in the digital age, and tech giants like Apple have made it a key selling point. However, recent revelations have raised questions about how Apple handles user data. In this article, we delve into the controversy surrounding Siri app tracking and its implications on user privacy.

The Siri Privacy Scandal

Apple has positioned itself as a champion of privacy, but it hasn't been immune to privacy-related controversies. One such scandal that garnered significant attention was the Siri privacy scandal of 2019.

In this scandal, Apple was caught listening to audio recordings of Siri user requests without their explicit consent. This revelation came on the heels of similar practices by tech giants like Google and Amazon. Instead of voluntarily stopping these activities, Apple continued until a whistleblower exposed the situation.

The blow to Apple's reputation was substantial, but it prompted changes. Apple began seeking express user consent during setup, though it continued the practice for those who gave their consent.

App Tracking Transparency

Apple didn't stop at addressing the Siri scandal. Another incident, where a journalist discovered 5,400 trackers on his iPhone, led to further action. These trackers were sending telemetry data to developers, totaling a staggering 1.5 GB in a single month.

Apple's response was the introduction of App Tracking Transparency in iOS 14.5. This feature forced developers to give users the choice to opt out of app tracking or allow it. However, this didn't entirely stop Apple from tracking users through its own apps, as a recent lawsuit highlighted.

Apple has published a page detailing the data its stock apps collect, emphasizing the use of random identifiers meant to dissociate individual users from the collected data.

Siri's Data Collection Practices

Improving Siri's performance is a priority for Apple, but the methods used may surprise some given the company's strong privacy stance. Siri tracking is enabled by default across all Apple apps to enhance its performance. Surprisingly, this tracking is also enabled for every third-party app on iPhones, including sensitive ones like PayPal and health apps.

The message Apple includes with this tracking states, "Allow Siri to learn from how you use [Insert App] to make suggestions across apps," but this is often enabled without the user's explicit consent.

Apple's use of the term "Siri" to personalize the request can be misleading since it's Apple collecting the data. Some users trust Apple's privacy measures, while others question the lack of transparency and prefer not to have their data used without express permission.

Taking Control of Your Privacy

If you fall into the category of users concerned about unconsented tracking and data collection, you have the option to take control. The only way to disable this tracking is to manually adjust the settings of each app on your iPhone.

However, a better solution would be for Apple to provide an opt-in or opt-out choice for data tracking across apps when users set up their devices. This would ensure that users have a say in how their data is used, aligning with Apple's stated commitment to privacy.

In conclusion, while Apple has made significant strides in addressing privacy concerns, controversies like Siri app tracking highlight that there is still work to be done. Users should remain vigilant about their privacy settings and demand more transparency from tech giants like Apple.


  • Siri app tracking
  • Apple privacy
  • User data consent
  • Siri privacy scandal
  • App Tracking Transparency
  • iOS 14.5 update
  • Apple data collection
  • Siri performance improvement
  • Third-party app tracking
  • User data protection

Stay informed about the latest developments in technology and privacy to ensure your digital life remains secure.

Related Articles:

    Comment ()