IBM Bans Siri Over Security Concerns

    May 26, 2012
    Amanda Crum
    Comments are off for this post.

It seems we hear (or read) every day about a new security concern regarding a mobile device, its apps, or a new feature of either one. It’s the price we pay for being jacked in to technology 24 hours a day, and every developer has worked out their own safeguards against hackers, both for their own safety and that of their customers.

Now, a seemingly innocuous app has a major company concerned for its security and has banned its use within their walls. Siri, the personal assistant app developed for the iPhone, is causing a lot of talk lately because of bugs in her system and because of some rather silly ads starring Zooey Deschanel and Samuel L. Jackson, but now the talk is shifting to more serious matters: is the use of Siri safe?

If you’re one of those people who reads the user agreement before you download something, you might have noticed that Siri’s reads like this: “When you use Siri or Dictation, the things you say will be recorded and sent to Apple in order to convert what you say into text. By using Siri or Dictation, you agree and consent to Apple’s and its subsidiaries’ and agents’ transmission, collection, maintenance, processing, and use of this information, including your voice input and User Data, to provide and improve Siri, Dictation, and other Apple products and services.”

That means everything you say to Siri is accessible to Apple and the company’s employees, including the other night when you drunkenly called her a bitch for not finding the number for Pizza Hut fast enough. More importantly, any sensitive info you share with Siri is transmitted and recorded, and IBM doesn’t take kindly to that. They’ve given their employees permission to use personal devices for work and at home, but they have to agree to let IBM install software which will allow them to delete certain information by remote should they believe it to be compromised.

While all this sounds a bit extreme–and makes me wonder what exactly IBM is so protective of–it pays to never be too careful these days, when everyone and their uncle has access to a computer or handheld device and shady characters are well versed in hacking.

  • Pete

    IBM Bans Siri Over…jealousy and resentment.

    • Jamal Jenkins

      It’s not jealousy, they don’t want their information on things they’re working on being sent directly to their competitors. It’s like playing football and having one team knows all of the plays you’re going to use.

    • Gekko

      Totally Pete, because we all know Apple comes up with all their own idea’s and Siri and the Ipad were not existing technology that Apple slapped a logo on marketed as ‘New’.

      No one is jealous of Apple for anything other than Apple finally found a way to identify douchebags on sight like a Jewish star circa WW2 and have them all hang out in coffee shops with each other instead of annoy and endanger the general public.

  • oldgreywolfcomments

    Industrial espionage is serious business. If this tool gives the impression that it could even inadvertently collect sensitive data, then IBM is on the right track.

  • CynicalKnight

    Well, since Apple is so cool and RIM is so uncool now, it’s pointless to mention that Blackberries have had extensive wireless IT Policy enforcement and full private data encryption in place and working beautifully for over 10 years.

  • https://twitter.com/#!/VivekRShenoy Vivek Shenoy

    Smart move. Imagine if an IBM employee had told Siri “Hey Babe! Can you setup an invite for a meeting with Larry to discuss about how to take down Apple?” I exaggerate of course. But there is a lot of data that can go out.

  • http://www.ashaq-aliraq.com/games/ games

    thx thats goood

  • http://www.LAokay.com Steve G

    Even IBM knows that it’s virtually impossible to create voice recognition software with the kind of processing power required on a cell phone without a remote processing server. Even the dragon dictation app requires an internet connection if you’re using it on a phone. That’s the beauty of remote processing, where the phone itself only needs to be powerful enough to connect to the actual remote processing server which does all the voice processing in seconds. Could you imagine how much power drain would be on an iphone not to mention how powerful the processor would have to be just to be able to do voice recognition? So there is a trade off when it comes to privacy and yes, IBM should be concerned about it, as should any company that might have sensitive information sent to somebody else.

    • Renaldo

      Dude, my dog can do voice recognition. He knows like 30 commands. It’s not that difficult.

  • Renaldo

    If you want to prevent industrial espionage, just prohibit your employees from having anything to do with Chinese nationals.

  • http://blueflux.eu Martin Hookem

    I’ve called robot phone worst things than a bitch! But I’ll not mention them here! 😀