Apple tells lawmakers that iPhones are not listening …

Oregon lawmakers wrote to Apple and Alphabet to ask if the devices record or listen to users. Apple insists that the only way to activate voice technology is to say "hey Siri". Stock Photo

Apple has been forced to reassure users that iPhones do not listen to phone conversations.

The company insists that the only way to activate voice recognition is by saying "Hey Siri". or & # 39; Okay Google & # 39 ;, to & # 39; activate & # 39; the devices.

It came in response to a letter from Oregon lawmakers, which demanded clarification on whether smart speakers listened or registered users.

On Tuesday, Apple Inc responded, insisting – in a barely veiled dig in Facebook's privacy scandal – that its business model does not depend on collecting large amounts of personally identifiable information to enrich the targeted profiles marketed to advertisers. # 39;

Oregon lawmakers wrote to Apple and Alphabet to ask if the devices record or listen to users. Apple insists that the only way to activate voice technology is to say "hey Siri". Stock Photo

Oregon lawmakers wrote to Apple and Alphabet to ask if the devices record or listen to users. Apple insists that the only way to activate voice technology is to say "hey Siri". Stock Photo

Fears about espionage have intensified in recent years, as more and more people have devices with voice technology, and devices and personalized advertising become smarter.

It has become a kind of standard joke that Instagram ads appear in a user's feed after they simply thought about a similar thing.

However, Apple insists that iPhones should not be feared.

The firm told US lawmakers on Tuesday that its iPhones do not listen to users without their consent and also do not allow third-party applications to do so, after lawmakers asked the company if their devices were invading the privacy of the users. users

Last month, representatives Greg Walden, Marsha Blackburn, Gregg Harper and Robert Latta wrote to Apple's chief executive, Tim Cook, citing concerns about reports that smartphones could "collect raw data from user conversations. Near a smartphone to hear a "trigger" phrase, like "Okay Google" or "Hey Siri."

They also wrote to Alphabet Inc's chief executive, Larry Page, at the same time.

In a letter to Walden, an Oregon Republican who chairs the House Energy and Commerce Committee, Apple said iPhones do not record audio while they listen to Siri's activation commands and Siri does not share the spoken words.

Apple said it requires users to explicitly approve access to the microphone and that applications must show a clear signal that they are listening.

The letters, in which lawmakers cited reports that suggested third-party applications had access to and used "unactivated" data without the users' knowledge, followed Congress hearings in April on Facebook privacy practices, which included the Testimony of its CEO Mark Zuckerberg.

Alphabet did not answer questions about whether he had responded to the legislators. Apple declined to comment beyond its letter, which was seen by Reuters.

Fears about espionage have intensified in recent years, as more and more people have devices with voice technology, and devices and personalized advertising become smarter. Stock Photo

Fears about espionage have intensified in recent years, as more and more people have devices with voice technology, and devices and personalized advertising become smarter. Stock Photo

Fears about espionage have intensified in recent years, as more and more people have devices with voice technology, and devices and personalized advertising become smarter. Stock Photo

A spokeswoman for the Republican majority in the Chamber's Energy and Commerce Committee said that "both companies have cooperated so far, and the Committee looks forward to reviewing and analyzing the responses as we consider the next steps."

Apple wrote that it had removed applications from its App Store for privacy violations, but declined to say if it had ever banned a developer. He also said that it was up to developers to notify users when an application was removed for privacy reasons.

"Apple can not and can not monitor what developers do with the customer data they have collected, nor does it prevent the transfer of that data, nor do we have the ability to ensure that the developer complies with its own privacy policies or local laws," wrote Apple. .

The iPhone manufacturer's App Store has generated $ 100 billion in revenue for developers over the past decade. Apple told lawmakers in its letter that it rejected about 36,000 applications out of the 100,000 sent each week for violations of its guidelines.

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