Whistleblower pushes EU to take action against Apple for Siri recordings

A contractor for Apple, turned whistleblower, revealed that the company allows its Siri voice assistant to transmit recordings of people without their knowledge revealed his identity because he believes the problem persists.

Last August, Thomas Le Bonniec told European Union regulators he heard recordings of people receiving medical diagnoses, making drug deals, and having sex while working as an Apple contractor in Ireland. Le Bonneic worked for on a project that transcribed Siri recordings to improve the feature’s voice recognition.

Apple apologized after the infractions were revealed and canceled the project. But in a letter to European data protection regulators released last Wednesday, Le Bonniec says the apology is insufficient.

“I am extremely concerned that big tech companies are basically wiretapping entire populations despite European citizens being told the EU has one of the strongest data protection laws in the world. Passing a law is not good enough: it needs to be enforced upon privacy offenders,” he wrote.

The European Union passed its first whistleblower protection law in April 2019, allowing whistleblowers to report breaches of EU law through “safe channels” rather than first through their employer. Le Bonniec left his job in 2019 because of “ethical concerns” over the program.

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