Hey Siri – Are you listening?

iPhone with Hello text on screen
“Hi, I’m Siri! Your virtual assistant.”

I’ll admit, I am an avid Siri user!. Carrying a little one around all the time often leaves me without two hands to type on my phone and I hate how slow one hand typing is. So, ever since my son was born, I have started using Siri for a lot of things; I use Siri (referred to as her in the rest of the post) to check my calendar, turn on/off lights, track my baby’s diapers and naps, add items to my grocery list, get directions, send text messages and to make phone calls etc. Come to think of it, I don’t know what I don’t use Siri for..

Last week, I heard on the news that Siri is listening in (or spying) on us even when we didn’t ask her for something by using the wake word “Hey Siri”. I wasn’t surprised by this news story. Even though Apple (maker of Siri), didn’t comment, I want to tell you that you don’t have to wait for a comment from Apple to trust whether the news is true or not. Technology like Siri is there to make our lives easier and sometimes that comes at a price (our privacy).

If you are using any sort of smart device, it probably is sharing some of our your private information (your voice, your location etc.) with the maker of the device. This private information is used to make the device smarter and is often available to the engineers working on the technology. And this private information can sometimes leak to unwanted parties if the companies aren’t careful.

Key Take Away – Assume someone is always listening and don’t buy a smart speaker if you are worried about privacy.