Artificial intelligence-assisted voice assistants like Siri are beneficial. They enable you to ask questions from your phone, open your garage, automate things for you, and much more. However, even though technology is improving every day, some severe privacy issues still come up. Keeping that in view, can Siri eavesdrop on your conversations?
Yes, Siri can eavesdrop on your conversations. Although Apple states that Siri only actually listens when you say “Hey Siri”, the voice assistant is still active and waiting for your command, therefore listening. If it mistakenly hears its wake word, Siri can record private conversations.
Unlike Amazon Echo and Google Home devices, which allow owners to opt out of some of the recordings, Apple does not offer the same privacy protection options. So apple users should be even more careful.
Siri eavesdrops on your conversations
The world is in the middle of transitioning from computer culture to robotic conversations. Even though AI-assisted voice command apps like Siri, Alexa, and many others have made life easy, it’s time that we think about how technology has turned humans into social robots.
Even though Apple claims to prioritize its customers’ privacy, there is no denying the fact that Siri can eavesdrop on people’s conversations if activated accidentally. Apple users are at an increased risk of privacy breaches through Siri. The Guardian reports that Apple’s contractors review the conversations recorded after Siri is activated for bettering the AI.
According to the UK news outlet, the voice assistant can randomly activate upon mistakenly hearing its wake word. Therefore, it might hear private information without your knowledge, including conversations with doctors, commercial transactions, and sexual interactions.
Other apps that eavesdrop on your conversations
As it turns out, Siri is not the only voice assistant that listens to your private conversations. There are many like Siri who do the same. Given below is the list of such AI-assisted voice command tools.
- Google Assistant
Google, like Apple, is adamant that the information gathered by its virtual assistant is essential for the advancement of its AI chatbot’s intelligence.
Prevent Siri from eavesdropping
Unfortunately, many users don’t set any privacy protections when they enable these voice assistants on their computers or smartphones. This situation prompts the question: Is it possible to prevent Siri from listening in?
If you are stressed over Siri eavesdropping in on you, then luckily, there is something you can do about it. You can disable the voice assistant. But before doing so, we recommend that you clear out any junk or redundant data which may be collected by Siri or Scan your Mac. You can use outbyte macAries to scan your Mac.
Stop Siri from eavesdropping on iOS devices
Follow the instructions given below to disable Siri on iOS devices.
- Open Settings.
- Select the Siri & Search option by scrolling down.
- Go to the Ask Siri section.
- Disable the Listen for “Hey Siri”.
- Enable the Press Side Button for Siri. This will allow you to still use Siri but only by pressing the side button, therefore avoiding accidental activations.
You can also skip the last step and uncheck all boxes in Siri & Search if you want to disable Siri altogether.
Stop Siri from eavesdropping on Apple Watch
To disable Siri on Apple Watch
- Select Siri from the main menu.
- Turn off Listen for “Hey Siri”.
- Turn off Raise to Speak.
- Turn on Press Digital Crown.
Stop Siri from eavesdropping on Mac
To disable Siri on Mac
- Select System Preferences by tapping the Apple menu.
- Click on Siri if you can find it in the settings menu.
- Uncheck the Enable Ask Siri checkbox.
Final thoughts on Siri Eavesdropping on you
Even though technological advances have made our lives much easier, there are some serious concerns people should be aware of. The first issue is AI-assisted voice command tools like Siri eavesdropping on your private conversations.
Fortunately, by disabling Siri on your iOS device, Apple Watch and Mac, you can prevent it from listening to your conversations and enjoy talking without constantly fearing for your privacy.