May 23, 2012

Are you going to block Siri on your network over security concerns?

I just read about IBM deciding to block Siri on its networks because of the way Siri uses data. When you ask a question, the data obviously goes back to Apple's servers so it can be processed and responded to. Apparently, the data is also temporally stored, and Apple won't reveal how long the data is stored or who has access to it, so IBM hit the kill switch. How concerned about Apple storing your Siri data are you? Is it enough of a concern to justify blocking Siri?


Personally, I will not.  While I suppose I do have some minimal concerns, I wouldn't consider the potential threat to be anything close to allowing Dropbox or something like that.  Sure there could be something I wouldn't want shared in a Siri request, but come on, a two or three sentence question is going to be limited in its security impact.  I suppose all of a single user's "Siri talk" could be aggregated, and a fuller picture given of something, but that is a little bit of a stretch in my opinion.  If I was working with extremely sensitive data, I would probably take a more conservative approach towards it and block it.    


I think that Apple should be more transparent about how long the data is stored and how it is used, and as jimlynch said, they should stop doing this when it isn't in beta.  I can cut them some slack while Siri is in beta, but Apple should make it clear what they are doing with your data. 

Prudence dictates caution on this issue; especially if Apple is not disclosing how long the data is stored or who has access to it. If I were running a network with sensitive information, I'd probably do what IBM is doing.

Apple might want to take this into consideration as it rolls Siri out of beta.
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