• Allison McMillian

Apple confirms there is no eavesdropping on customers' conversations

It is a common question for iPhone users whether the government or Apple is listening in on our conversations, but in a recent letter to federal lawmakers, Apple has confirmed that iPhones do not listen to what we are saying. Our privacy as people is a right. Third-party apps do not have access to our audio either, according to CNN.

"iPhone doesn't listen to consumers except to recognize the clear, unambiguous audio trigger 'Hey Siri,'" Timothy Powderly, Apple's director of Federal Government Affairs, wrote in the letter.

"The customer is not our product, and our business model does not depend on collecting vast amounts of personally identifiable information to enrich targeted profiles marketed to advertisers," he added.

The Energy and Commerce Committee sent letters to Tim Cook, Apple CEO, and Larry Page, CEO of Google’s parent company Alphabet. The lawmakers were concerned that people’s conversations could accidentally set off the voice assistants in the phones and record people’s conversations. They wanted information on how iPhone and Android devices collected audio and location data.

Apple responded to these information requests saying that when Siri is activated it gives a visual alert. The company is required by their guidelines to show some sort of visual proof when the microphone is activated. The users of their iPhones must grant access to the microphone and can remove the access in their settings.

Although Apple has given their response, Android has yet to leave a comment on the subject.