Apple released an open letter to US representatives Greg Walden, Marsha Blackburn, Gregg Harper, and Robert Latta on Tuesday (Aug. 7) addressing whether their devices are able to listen to users without permission.
“Apple does not and cannot monitor what developers do with the customer data they have collected, or prevent the onward transfer of that data, nor do we have the ability to ensure a developer’s compliance with their own privacy policies or local law,” Apple stated in their response. “Apple has the right to terminate a developer’s account immediately upon notice for engaging in prohibited behavior, including but not limited to impermissible uses of user data."
If you want to be extra careful, though, you can ensure that your iPhone's listening capabilities are disabled. In short, you must turn off Siri.
How to turn off Siri:
- Go to settings
- Hit Siri and Search
- Turn off the toggles for “Listen for ‘Hey Siri,'” “Press [Side or Home] Button for Siri,” and “Allow Siri When Locked”
Following these instructions, Siri will be turned off. However, according to Apple's statement, there are other apps that could be listening to you without your permission. The unfortunate difference with these apps, though, is that you won't have the ability to turn them off. Apple isn't able to stop every app that lands in their app store from collection data in covert ways, so, be wary of which apps you're choosing to download.