If you have an iPhone 4S and work for IBM, you may want to avoid using Siri. Siri is the virtual assistant built into the iPhone 4S. Siri transmits everything you say to a data center in Maiden, North Carolina. IBM CIO Jeanette Horan said that Siri has been banned because ?the company worries that the spoken queries might be stored somewhere.? Apple primarily collects all of this information to help improve responses by Siri. Recently I wrote a list of the funniest Siri responses, which clearly shows how inaccurate the virtual assistant can be to search queries. The American Civil Liberties Union issued a warning a couple of months ago because some of the data that Siri collects can be very personal.
Edward Wrenbeck, the lead developer of the original Siri app disagrees that people should be worried about the virtual assistant service. ?I really don?t think it?s something to worry about,? he said in an interview with Wired. ?People are already doing things on these mobile devices. Maybe Siri makes their life a little bit easier, but it?s not exactly opening up a new avenue that wasn?t there before.? One of the reasons why IBM does not ban Google is because the company anonymizes search results, which makes it difficult to trace back to an individual user after 9 month.
“We strike a reasonable balance between the competing pressures we face, such as the privacy of our users, the security of our systems and the need for innovation. We believe anonymizing IP addresses after 9 months and cookies in our search engine logs after 18 months strikes the right balance,” says Google in their policies and principles page.