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Worried About Information Leaks, IBM Bans Siri

timothy posted more than 2 years ago | from the dave-what-are-you-doing dept.

Businesses 168

squiggleslash writes "CNN reports that IBM CEO Jeanette Horan has banned Siri, the iPhone voice recognition system. Why? According to Horan '(IBM) worries that the spoken queries might be stored somewhere.' Siri's backend is a set of Apple-owned servers in North Carolina, and all spoken queries are sent to those servers to be converted to text, parsed, and interpreted. While Siri wouldn't work unless that processing was done, the centralization and cloud based nature of Siri makes it an obvious security hole."

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But make sure to buy our cloud offering! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40088127)

It's totally secure, it's only those dopes at Apple and their dumb cloud you have to worry about!

Re:But make sure to buy our cloud offering! (5, Funny)

binarylarry (1338699) | more than 2 years ago | (#40088231)

I hope she doesn't find out what her employees use Google for!

Re:But make sure to buy our cloud offering! (2)

cygnwolf (601176) | more than 2 years ago | (#40088309)

Because, somehow, the fact that it was spoken and not typed makes it less secure...

Re:But make sure to buy our cloud offering! (5, Informative)

cygnwolf (601176) | more than 2 years ago | (#40088385)

Ok, replying to myself because I shot my mouth off without reading TFA....

For one, Siri can be used to write e-mails or text messages. So, in theory, Apple could be storing confidential IBM messages.

So it's stuff like this, that wouldn't be sent through Google or Bing, that she is concerned about. That actually makes a teensy, tiny grain of sense for a change...

Re:But make sure to buy our cloud offering! (1)

wile_e_wonka (934864) | more than 2 years ago | (#40089461)

Do they also ban use of Gmail, etc., then?

Re:But make sure to buy our cloud offering! (4, Insightful)

adonoman (624929) | more than 2 years ago | (#40089861)

For sending internal messages? I would hope so! If my company has it's own internal, monitored, secured, approved, etc.. email set up, and I go and start doing all my work correspondance from a gmail account, I would assume that they would take issue with that. Likewise, if I started using Siri to dictate emails which were then sent over that corporate network.

IBM UBM WE ALL BM FOR IBM (0)

Jeremiah Cornelius (137) | more than 2 years ago | (#40088387)

IBM? Worried Apple is listening?

What self-aggrandizing delusion, bordering on a satirical idea!

If I were Apple, knowing the source of a conversation from IBM? I'd purge the recording...

Re:IBM UBM WE ALL BM FOR IBM (4, Funny)

Charliemopps (1157495) | more than 2 years ago | (#40089071)

IBM invents new things, clearly something Apples never been interested in. Good call.

Re:But make sure to buy our cloud offering! (4, Informative)

bws111 (1216812) | more than 2 years ago | (#40088399)

Or maybe the fact that Apple knows WHO is doing the queries, and also that Siri collects a bunch of other stuff like names from your address book and 'other unspecified user data' makes it MUCH less secure.

Re:But make sure to buy our cloud offering! (1)

aristotle-dude (626586) | more than 2 years ago | (#40088465)

Or maybe the fact that Apple knows WHO is doing the queries, and also that Siri collects a bunch of other stuff like names from your address book and 'other unspecified user data' makes it MUCH less secure.

Uh, same with Android. Google knows everything you do.

Re:But make sure to buy our cloud offering! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40088525)

Or maybe the fact that Apple knows WHO is doing the queries, and also that Siri collects a bunch of other stuff like names from your address book and 'other unspecified user data' makes it MUCH less secure.

Uh, same with Android. Google knows everything you do.

Yes. They even saw you jacking off in the shower. You really should consider using some lotion or something.

Re:But make sure to buy our cloud offering! (0)

EvilBudMan (588716) | more than 2 years ago | (#40088679)

But Androids are generally cheaper than iPhones. Maybe it's more about that, who knows?

Re:But make sure to buy our cloud offering! (4, Insightful)

DangerFace (1315417) | more than 2 years ago | (#40089147)

Sorry, what? When I write an email or text on my Android the entire text gets sent to Google? Even if I decide not to send it? The issue is that, when using Siri, the full recording is sent back to Apple's servers where they perform processing. This could allow them to do spy stuff with what people falsely assumed was privat einformation, since a lot of people don't realise that anything you tell Siri you also tell Apple HQ.

Now, are Apple doing evil with what Siri sends them? Probably not. but when you're the CIO of a billion dollar tech company you probably don't want to base your company's technological future on "it's probably fine".

just had a thought!! (1)

zlives (2009072) | more than 2 years ago | (#40089867)

not gmail based account but
if I have a corporate email (active sync) on my droid or iPhone do either vendor scan that information? anyone know if the vendor policy specifically states that they do/do not. Not that they can't, of course they can.
almost missing my BB...

Re:But make sure to buy our cloud offering! (3, Funny)

RoboRay (735839) | more than 2 years ago | (#40089565)

But... Google's not evil. They said so!

Re:But make sure to buy our cloud offering! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40088409)

Yes, because the audio may contain more than the actual request, e.g. someone speaking in the background.

Re:But make sure to buy our cloud offering! (2)

the_povinator (936048) | more than 2 years ago | (#40089335)

I used to work for IBM and I recall that they used to disallow Skype. They had the particularly lame reason that "because Skype is not open-source, it is against our business strategy" or some such nonsense. [Yet they had no problem with Windows!].

Re:But make sure to buy our cloud offering! (1)

EvilBudMan (588716) | more than 2 years ago | (#40088649)

Google in fact seems to have pretty good voice recognition. I have heard that Siri needs potty training where as Google's dog is trained for what I mostly use it for which is to do a search. Who knows about the security of that either?

Not CEO (4, Informative)

bws111 (1216812) | more than 2 years ago | (#40088137)

Jeanette Horan is the CIO, not the CEO.

Do the "editors" even TRY? (1)

sirwired (27582) | more than 2 years ago | (#40088601)

Do the "editors" actually read the submissions before posting, or are they just slashcode administrators that happen to be in charge of the original website running the code?

Re:Not CEO (2)

jdgeorge (18767) | more than 2 years ago | (#40088663)

Right. And here's a Related article [techworld.com] about Jeanette Horan's mobile strategy from earlier this year.

For reference, this is IBM's CEO [wikipedia.org]

Re:Not CEO (1)

Theophany (2519296) | more than 2 years ago | (#40088725)

BYOD, but we dictate a usage policy as if it were a company-issue device?

Seems legit...

Re:Not CEO (1)

bws111 (1216812) | more than 2 years ago | (#40088841)

What is wrong with that? People want to use their own devices, IBM wants to protect its information. IBM also has other rules like 'you can have lunch with colleagues in a restaurant, but don't discuss IBM confidential stuff while you're there.' What exactly is the problem?

Re:Not CEO (1)

Theophany (2519296) | more than 2 years ago | (#40089019)

If you are a corporate entity that is very careful and protective of sensitive information, a BYOD policy is nothing short of idiotic. Either they really are as cautious as their CIO claims, or they're not and they're just being cheap.

There's no way we'd have a BYOD policy and essentially open the door to people making potentially ruinous mistakes because their devices weren't company-issue locked down devices.

Re:Not CEO (1)

jdgeorge (18767) | more than 2 years ago | (#40088907)

This seems very similar to rules about not taking pictures of company stuff, not copying vast amounts of source code, designs, or other confidential stuff, etc.

They can't practically prevent people from bringing their own devices, so they are making sure everyone understands the rules (so that if you do something bad by violating the rules, everyone understands why you deserved to be fired / prosecuted.)

Re:Not CEO (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40089049)

Getting promoted to CEO by Slashdot makes Ms. Horan feel even better about her decision.

The Cloud is a security hole. (3, Insightful)

couchslug (175151) | more than 2 years ago | (#40088195)

Water is also wet. Must be a slow news day.

Re:The Cloud is a security hole. (1)

Sarten-X (1102295) | more than 2 years ago | (#40088415)

The locks on your door are also a security hole. Did your company change the locks when they moved in? Maybe that locksmith who did the work made a spare "just in case you ever lock yourself out".

Any time you outsource any work to anybody, it's a security hole. A smart company would negotiate a contract mandating particular security procedures, and recourse if the requirements aren't met. If a contract can't be worked out, the outsourcing doesn't happen, period. Now, in many cases, the security procedures are "whatever" and the recourse is "I don't care", because there's really little concern if your family vacation pictures are leaked online, or if the world finds out you haven't called your mother in a year.

Disclaimer: I worked at a secure cloud provider doing data analysis. When asked, we could isolate each customer's data on a separate system, with its own set of employees who had access.

Re:The Cloud is a security hole. (1)

AdrianKemp (1988748) | more than 2 years ago | (#40088741)

Do people actually have locksmiths change the door locks on their houses? I mean if you've locked yourself out yeah, call one in... but to actually install a lock?

Re:The Cloud is a security hole. (1)

brainstem (519778) | more than 2 years ago | (#40089175)

Do people actually have locksmiths change the door locks on their houses? I mean if you've locked yourself out yeah, call one in... but to actually install a lock?

happens all the time at businesses. When was the last time you saw the head of accounting re-keying the front door of the office building at which you work?

Re:The Cloud is a security hole. (1)

Sarten-X (1102295) | more than 2 years ago | (#40089689)

For a home, it depends on the lock and needs (Another disclaimer: I have a relative who installs and rekeys locks). If someone just wants a lock and a key, they can easily do it themselves. If they want one key to open several doors, some of which can be opened by another key that is the only one to open still other doors, that's probably going to need custom work.

Re:The Cloud is a security hole. (1)

tlhIngan (30335) | more than 2 years ago | (#40090087)

For a home, it depends on the lock and needs (Another disclaimer: I have a relative who installs and rekeys locks). If someone just wants a lock and a key, they can easily do it themselves. If they want one key to open several doors, some of which can be opened by another key that is the only one to open still other doors, that's probably going to need custom work.

Depends how you do it. If you want to physically change all the locks and don't care for the old, you can actually buy at Home Depot locks that use the same keycode and get a bunch of locks with the same keying. If you want to reuse the lock, then yes, you'd have to call in a locksmith to rekey your lock. Or if you have an odd door that uses a different key for whatever reason and want to make them all use the same key.

For new construction or replacing whole sets of locks they make locks with the same keying. Locksmith is only required if you don't want a new locks or just want to rekey a lock.

Multi-key locks will always require a locksmith, though. Especially if you want complex locking (one key can open doors A, B, C, and D, while another key can only do B, C and E). Though that's one reason everyone moved to electronic locks.

Re:The Cloud is a security hole. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40089151)

I don't think locksmiths actually need a key.

Re:The Cloud is a security hole. (1)

Sarten-X (1102295) | more than 2 years ago | (#40089761)

The choices are to use a key (easy), pick the lock (time-consuming, requires skill, and may be embarrassing to the client), or drill out the plug (time-consuming and destructive).

Re:The Cloud is a security hole. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40089805)

The locks on your door are also a security hole.

This is why I don't put locks on my doors!

Re:The Cloud is a security hole. (1)

phorm (591458) | more than 2 years ago | (#40089991)

The cloud is a security hole. Some people get it. Some (likely most) people don't.

It's nice to see those that *do* get it. It shows an outbreak of common sense, critical thinking, and also gives me examples to provide to other people who are too trusting of today's technology...

Sooo... (2, Insightful)

StefanWiesendanger (687733) | more than 2 years ago | (#40088197)

I guess they're about to ban Google and Bing too?

Re:Sooo... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40088755)

I guess they already banned Gmail and Hotmail, where employees have more chance to write secret information (like in a email...). I guess they rarely search informations about their secret projects on search engines...

Re:Sooo... (1)

MarkGriz (520778) | more than 2 years ago | (#40088851)

Hope they shut down Watson too, before he becomes self-aware

How is that different from any search engine? (2, Interesting)

Karmashock (2415832) | more than 2 years ago | (#40088207)

By this logic google, bing, etc would be security holes.

And given that IBM is marketing Watson which is basically a super computer version of Siri... how does any of this make any sense?

I honestly don't understand the worry here.

When I looked at this, I thought the initial worry might be that the phone was listening all the time and could be parsing real time conversations through the apple servers all the time. That is TECHNICALLY possible. My understanding of siri is that it only listens when you cue it.

I'm just tying to piece together what situation or insight lead IBM to have this worry? Possibly someone pocket dialed Siri, a sensitive conversation fed into siri, and siri responded to the conversation in context from someone's pocket? That would be spooky. But I don't really see it as a security hole especially since it's hard to pocket dial iphones. The slider tends to make that rare.

Re:How is that different from any search engine? (1)

Compaqt (1758360) | more than 2 years ago | (#40088321)

Took the words out of my mouth (hey, wait, are you Siri?!)

Re:How is that different from any search engine? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40088341)

This has happened to me several times: I am texting. I put the phone down, but somehow the Siri button gets pressed (there's a button in text messages because Siri will translate your spoken words to text). Next thing you know your real life conversation (or that TV show you are watching) is there in text. Of course you don't have to send that, but the voice data has already been sent to Apple.

It's only hard to "pocket dial" if your phone is locked. But if you are texting someone back and forth, you're not going to lock your phone between every text.

Re:How is that different from any search engine? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40088443)

It's only hard to "pocket dial" if your phone is locked. But if you are texting someone back and forth, you're not going to lock your phone between every text.

Just to be clear, you do know that your phone is already capable of real time two way voice communication right?

This entire use case would not be a problem if it weren't for you idiots who'd rather send 20 text messages than make one call.

Re:How is that different from any search engine? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40088519)

Except text messages don't require an immediate reply and leave a log of the conversation so it is easier to follow.

Re:How is that different from any search engine? (1)

nitehawk214 (222219) | more than 2 years ago | (#40088653)

Except text messages don't require an immediate reply and leave a log of the conversation so it is easier to follow.

Wait, phones make a log of the conversation!? Ban those too!

Re:How is that different from any search engine? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40088673)

Way to not get it, guy. It doesn't matter if you, I, or anyone else actually use the feature. The feature is there and the button can easily be accidentally pressed.

Re:How is that different from any search engine? (1)

doston (2372830) | more than 2 years ago | (#40089283)

It's only hard to "pocket dial" if your phone is locked. But if you are texting someone back and forth, you're not going to lock your phone between every text.

Just to be clear, you do know that your phone is already capable of real time two way voice communication right?

This entire use case would not be a problem if it weren't for you idiots who'd rather send 20 text messages than make one call.

Yeah, the "one call" always turns into a 30 minute "how's things" session about *nothing* because of "idiots" who like to blather on the phone forever. That's why some people prefer text.

Re:How is that different from any search engine? (3, Interesting)

gweilo8888 (921799) | more than 2 years ago | (#40088367)

When you type a query into a search engine, it's fairly unlikely that somebody else's unrelated typed conversation will also be recorded and transmitted along with it. That's quite possible when using an audio-based search on a device with a sensitive microphone. Likewise as you note, it's unlikely that you'll accidentally type a conversation with your phone in your pocket, but pretty feasible that you'll accidentally record your own conversation.

Re:How is that different from any search engine? (2)

Karmashock (2415832) | more than 2 years ago | (#40088953)

I think I can input a voice search into google if I want. Isn't there a little microphone next to the text box? Lets say I press that... then say something... what I said should roughly wind up in that search field. So... this is a larger problem assuming it's a problem at all which seems unlikely.

Re:How is that different from any search engine? (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 2 years ago | (#40088493)

My impression is that IBM is marketing Watson as 'basically a super computer version of Siri that the customer pays IBM old-school-mainframe money for the privilege of keeping on-site'...

Whether the sort of banal shit that Siri gets asked to handle most of the time is actually a risk or not, it does seem fairly likely that some level of mining and 'monetization' is being done, same as other search mechanisms(and even if it isn't now, disk is cheap and EULAs are flexible, so that could change retroactively).

Realistically(especially once you tie the user to a more-or-less not-spoofed-in-practice phone UUID, as Siri does), any of the contemporary search mechanisms do constitute a pretty significant 'side channel' into the user's activities, interests, and so forth. Their popularity suggests that most people don't know or don't care, and(so far, to the extent publicly known) their operators have confined themselves to generic advertising and rounding up the occasional dissident(rather than, say, attempting algorithmic insider trading based on analysis of search queries coming from different companies IP blocks....); but the theoretical capability can't be dismissed.

So, broadly, IBM's position is not false, even if it isn't clear whether it is operationally true anywhere. More narrowly, in terms of IBM's interests, a bunch of operators providing natural-language expert systems on cheap commodity gear paid for by advertising isn't clearly helpful to IBM's business model. A bunch of paranoid C-levels buying in-house IBM solutions, securely humming away on IBM iron behind locked doors and a legion of IBM integration consultants, on the other hand...

Re:How is that different from any search engine? (1)

jdgeorge (18767) | more than 2 years ago | (#40088787)

Well, not really. [wikipedia.org] Siri isn't a player in the market for people who would want something like Watson any more than Google is.

Re:How is that different from any search engine? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40088993)

Missing the point here.....Watson is a data analytics engine, not a speech recognition tool. IBM put speech recognition in for the Jeopardy game, but that's not an essential aspect of it. The key is that it can analysis a huge base of knowledge and respond to natural language queries. Those queries don't have to be submitted by voice.

Re:How is that different from any search engine? (4, Informative)

bws111 (1216812) | more than 2 years ago | (#40089069)

Watson did NOT have speech recognition for the Jeopardy game (although it gave it's answers as speech). Watson has nothing to do with speech recognition at all.

Re:How is that different from any search engine? (1)

oldredlion (1663421) | more than 2 years ago | (#40088531)

so the idea is that competitors are using the information? That could explain something...

Scene: interior Siri Department
Apple Employee1: Hey! I've got a live one here.
Apple Employee2: Who is he and what's he asking?
Apple Employee1: It's someone from Microsoft, asking for ideas for creating their new desktop OS
Apple Employee2: . Alright, here's what we tell him to do...
Apple Employee1: Reckon he'll catch on?
Apple Employee2: Nah. At least, not before it's too late.

Re:How is that different from any search engine? (1)

bws111 (1216812) | more than 2 years ago | (#40088541)

Siri can be used for stuff other than search. If you dictate an email using Siri, Apple now has your email, and not in a secure email system, but somewhere they can access it for their own purposes (like maybe providing answers to someone else's queries).

Re:How is that different from any search engine? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40088593)

Wow - something FTFA. I didn't think anyone actually posted comments AFTER reading the source and not just the summary.

Re:How is that different from any search engine? (1)

Karmashock (2415832) | more than 2 years ago | (#40089091)

Ah, I agree with that problem.

Never mind then, that makes perfect sense.

Sounds like there needs to be an enterprise version of siri. Same basic thing just a segregated appliance somewhere that the company can nuke from orbit as required.

It's the only way to be sure.

Re:How is that different from any search engine? (1)

zlives (2009072) | more than 2 years ago | (#40089647)

new SiriBerry server?

Re:How is that different from any search engine? (3, Informative)

squiggleslash (241428) | more than 2 years ago | (#40088561)

They probably are, but not to the same extent.

Siri differs in two crucial respects:

1. Bing and Google don't, by default, tie searches to an individual. (Yes, I know, they can, you can log in, and sometimes are already, but you can use both services with cookies turned off without problems.)

2. Siri searches your personal information. At least, that's what I figure from the ads. If Samuel L. Motherfucking Jackson can cancel his golf game by telling Siri to cancel it, then clearly Siri knows SLMFJ's schedule, amongst other things. Google and Bing, unless your business uses Office 365 or Google Apps (in which case...), only has limited personal information on you.

I'm not arguing they're not potential security holes, but they're not in the same ballpark as Siri. If you're talking to Siri all the time, in order to modify your work schedules, send emails, etc, then, well, you are passing much, much, more information to Apple.

Re:How is that different from any search engine? (0)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | more than 2 years ago | (#40089871)

Has it been stated or proven that Siri's servers know who all is on your contact list, or is the phone just getting a message back like: "If you have a guy named Dan, that's prolly him."...?

Re:How is that different from any search engine? (1)

Baloroth (2370816) | more than 2 years ago | (#40088659)

Except that Google and Bing don't also have access to your address book (well, unless you use an Android and wear a tinfoil hat), and aren't generally used to write mails (well, unless you use Gmail/Hotmail, but I'm assuming IBM doesn't). Siri basically has access to everything on your phone, at least in theory. The exact data it collects is unknown, and probably perfectly innocent, but if you don't actually know, and cannot verify it, it is better to assume it is everything.

Even if Apple doesn't do anything with the data, their is very much a risk that data could be hacked, which could give the hackers access to every email, search, and potentially personal detail on your iPhone. That is a massive security hole.

Re:How is that different from any search engine? (1)

Baloroth (2370816) | more than 2 years ago | (#40088689)

Gah, I mean "...and aren't generally used to write emails" and "there is very much a risk..." I need more coffee.

Flaw with the "cloud" (4, Insightful)

cpu6502 (1960974) | more than 2 years ago | (#40088213)

Finally someone recognizes that the "cloud" is a danger to security. It's understandable that IBM would not want Apple being aware of what their employees are working on.

Re:Flaw with the "cloud" (1)

ARTIKMONKEY11 (2645309) | more than 2 years ago | (#40088319)

Could not agree more. A shift in data sharing that large in that short of a time still has me much too wary to shift to the "cloud." Hoping for more developments! But as stated earlier by other comments, though it is storing data; it is no worse than almost every single search engine.

Re:Flaw with the "cloud" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40088511)

If IBM eployees are searching the internet for answers on what they are working on its probably not very sensitive. Asking siri about the weather or a place to eat... omg IBM is working on a new food chain super computer! or a computer to control the clouds! (pun intended) Or omg, IBM employees search stack overflow for a question about java...

We aren't talking about IBM switching to iCloud or DropBox to store their design docs. We are talking about a freaking web search.

Re:Flaw with the "cloud" (1)

bws111 (1216812) | more than 2 years ago | (#40088661)

Siri can be used for more than search. You can use it just to dictate a little note to yourself. So a little note like 'remember to bring docs on project x to meeting with customer y' is now in the hands of Apple, who is free to use that data however they want.

Why just ban Siri? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40088215)

> the centralization and cloud based nature of Siri makes it an obvious security hole

couldn't the same thing be said about any service 'in the cloud' by any manufacturer?

Re:Why just ban Siri? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40089009)

because its about what Siri can do, like create emails, which should be confidential and may contain confidential info, and now are stored on Siri's servers, regardless of if they are secure or not, it does not matter, you think Apple would want there confidential emails stored on servers that IBM owns and operates, not a chance, its not about search, asking Siri about the weather is not what they are concerned about, it sending an email or other confidential (as confidential as it can be) communication that they are concerned about.

That being said, this would probably apply to any similar service that you can create and send messages or emails. So if an Android equivalent works the same way then I'm sure they would not allow that either.

Did they ban all search engines, too? (1)

lstroud (305315) | more than 2 years ago | (#40088251)

Hmmm, guess their iPhone users can't browse the internet since the only browser integrates google (and google stores every search). Wonder if they alo vet every app, block dns requests, and encrypt all phone traffic. :)

Sometimes well meaning corporate policies do really dumb things.

The tables will have turned. (4, Funny)

FreedomOfThought (2544248) | more than 2 years ago | (#40088263)

Post-Ban of Siri

IBM Employee: "Siri?"
Siri:"Yes?"
IBM Employee: "Remind me to file for the patent on the [insert technology here], tomorrow."
Siri: "I'm sorry, Dave. I'm afraid I can't do that."

Hey Siri, did I tell you about our secret projects (0)

crazyjj (2598719) | more than 2 years ago | (#40088269)

Methinks people may be sharing a little too much with Siri. She's a glorified search engine, not your personal confidant, dipshits!

Re:Hey Siri, did I tell you about our secret proje (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40088989)

Your girlfriend tells me everything the two of you discuss.

Serious use for Siri? (1)

acidradio (659704) | more than 2 years ago | (#40088275)

Wait, there are people who actually use Siri for a serious business-related use? They don't just ask it dumb questions in attempt to get silly answers?

"Siri, will you marry me?"
"Siri, where can I hide a dead body?"
"Siri, ***k you!"
"Siri, what is your favorite color?"

That's the only use for Siri that I've been able to (and many of my friends for that matter) find.

Re:Serious use for Siri? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40088361)

I use it for recording notes, appointments and for reminders. Sometimes for directions... but yeah, the novelty wore off quick.

Re:Serious use for Siri? (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 2 years ago | (#40088603)

Siri, Siri, give me your answer do...

iPhone Voice Recognition also uses cloud (2)

Tangential (266113) | more than 2 years ago | (#40088339)

The iPhone/iPad's regular voice recognition for diction (the mic on the virtual keyboard) isn't Siri but it also uses the cloud. On top of that, many apps and browsers store data in the cloud and not just iOS phones; Android, RIM and others store data on servers in the cloud. Seems like a pointless ban to me.

Re:iPhone Voice Recognition also uses cloud (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40089085)

Shhhhh, don't tell this woman. She's just the typical C*O anymore. Completely out of touch, rules they set don't apply to anyone in management, and didn't come up with policies on their own.

IBM execs... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40088407)

...like hotspacho.

Don't worry everyone (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40088427)

I asked Siri if she was spying on me for Apple. She said that she's not good with food.

Domain knowledge (2)

AliasMarlowe (1042386) | more than 2 years ago | (#40088627)

I asked Siri if she was spying on me for Apple. She said that she's not good with food.

It seems the domain knowledge in Siri is somewhat uneven [inthesetimes.com] . According to reports, if you ask Siri for a blow job, it will recommend escorts close to you. However, if you ask Siri to eat your pussy, it will recommend some nearby pet stores...

why is network need for speech to text? (2)

contrapunctus (907549) | more than 2 years ago | (#40088429)

I don't understand why Siri has to use the cloud for speech to text. I had a samsung phone 6 years ago that could do this on the device itself with. I understand if the text part (after it's been converted) needs to be sent for analysis but the device certainly has enough processing speed to understand speech without a network...
I'm sure I'm missing something.

When I'm driving is when I really want to use Siri so I don't have to look at my phone and that it when it fails most (I'm not always on 3G areas).

Re:why is network need for speech to text? (2)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 2 years ago | (#40088595)

Because of the semantic processing. Takes quite a bit more horsepower.

It's the cool part of Siri. Mostly useless, but cool.

I'd tag the story 'Andnothingofvaluewaslost'

Scheduling meetings (5, Insightful)

chenjeru (916013) | more than 2 years ago | (#40088455)

Before everyone chimes in about how you might as well ban Google and Bing too, I think that there is a valid security concern for using Siri when you consider that many people use it for making appointments. Search history is much easier to obfuscate. I can understand if IBM doesn't want Apple to know who it is having "top secret" meetings with.

Re:Scheduling meetings (1)

0100010001010011 (652467) | more than 2 years ago | (#40089573)

If you want to see what Apple is parsing out and if the Government has a hand in it just start scheduling fun stuff.

'Siri, Skype call with Al Qaeda. 5 PM Afghanistan time'
'Siri, Reminder to purchase 1 ton of fertilizer.'
'Siri, Schedule President Obama's assassination for election day this year'

Or if you would prefer a different organization than the DHS.

'Siri, track package 0004202392389 5 lbs of Marijuana.'

* This may get you on a few lists. Try at your own digression.

Siri is always listening! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40088705)

Siri is always listening - even when you don't want it to.

It listens to your calls. It listens to you and others talking in the background.

Siri hears all. Siri knows all.

Be afraid.

Clueless CEO trying to get media attention. (0)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 2 years ago | (#40088819)

Why Siri? For publicity that's why.

If it was a real security reason then ALL smart phones will be banned. Because iphone, Android, Windows phones ALL have a voice cloud processed system availabe in them either stock like Siri or as an app on the other two.

Heck, I can do it with google by calling a phone number, so all phones have this security leak.

Re:Clueless CEO trying to get media attention. (1)

bws111 (1216812) | more than 2 years ago | (#40089005)

Let me guess, you didn't read TFA, and you sure as hell didn't read the interview referred to in TFA. The interview was about the challenges of allowing people to use their own devices for business use. The 'clueless' CIO (not CEO) was talking about ALL of the security challenges that causes, and one of the EXAMPLES she gave was Siri.

Re:Clueless CEO trying to get media attention. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40089803)

Which is why in our R&D center ALL smartphones are banned. no phone at all, you must hand it to the security guard and then you are wanded. And the Challenge of allowing people to use their own device is dumb. You dont let them use their own device. You force them to use a company issued device you have control over. Only a fool would let an employee mix corporate and personal on a single device.

The problem is the Slashdot article just needs to be deleted. IT's a BS attempt for Slashdot to get clicks on a fake article.

Re:Clueless CEO trying to get media attention. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40089917)

Why Siri? For publicity that's why.

If it was a real security reason then ALL smart phones will be banned. Because iphone, Android, Windows phones ALL have a voice cloud processed system availabe in them either stock like Siri or as an app on the other two.

Heck, I can do it with google by calling a phone number, so all phones have this security leak.

Having it stock or in an app is already quite a big difference. On Windows Phone you don't have to get an app to call people using the phone and no, it's not using any kind of cloud processing.

We Know What Really Happened (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40089043)

The real reason Siri is banned is because Watson couldn't concentrate with her in the room [citation needed]

That's the fun part (1)

RobinH (124750) | more than 2 years ago | (#40089325)

Whenever someone tries to show me how cool their Siri (or other similar Android app) voice recognition search is, I grab the phone and say, "Siri, how do you build a dirty bomb?" Then I explain that not only are all your Google searches logged, but so are your Siri queries because they have to go to the "cloud" to be processed. :)

Apple should have named Siri .... (1)

PPH (736903) | more than 2 years ago | (#40089417)

... Christine [wikipedia.org] .

Re:Apple should have named Siri .... (1)

cellocgw (617879) | more than 2 years ago | (#40090025)

... Christine.

Darn. Until I checked your link, I thought you were going for a much more interesting http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0085333/ [imdb.com] girl.

When is Apple listening? (1)

Animats (122034) | more than 2 years ago | (#40089543)

Until this, few phones sent your audio to a third party. The telco had to have the audio stream, but they don't store it. Telcos are regulated in this area. Even for wiretaps, US telcos don't store audio; they forward it in real time to law enforcement or security agencies.

Then Apple comes along. It starts storing all your audio and recognizing as much of it as possible, escaping liability through a vague EULA. That has to be a concern. How do you know when it's listening? And will you know when Apple changes the rules to something like "we collect all your voice input to improve the quality of voice recognition"?

Idiotic Bumbling Morons (1)

Gordonjcp (186804) | more than 2 years ago | (#40089609)

This would be the same IBM that banned *all* cameras from its Greenock site - not even allowed to be left in your car while you're at work. The ban also included forward-looking CCTV and reversing cameras in lorries, like the dozens of lorries that came to site every day.

Then they bought all the managers smartphones, with cameras.

Siri is NOT banned (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40089739)

This is factually incorrect.

IBM enforces a profile on iOS devices that requires an 8-character password with a 15 minute lock timeout, along with the Lotus Traveller package for push email, calendar and contacts.

Siri is not permitted unless the phone is unlocked, and is therefore unavailable from the lock screen.

It's THAT simple. Really.

It's Furby All Over Again! (2)

ilikenwf (1139495) | more than 2 years ago | (#40089841)

Remember back in the 90's when Furby first came out, the Federal Government banned Furbies from entering the building to protect state secrets?

Via Wiki: "There was a common misconception that they repeated words that were said around them. This belief most likely stemmed from the fact that it is possible to have the Furby say certain pre-programmed words or phrases more often by petting it whenever it said these words. As a result of this myth, several intelligence agencies banned them from their offices."

As Apple insiders call it Surly, (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40089935)

Not only that, but it provides different answers based on the sound
of your voice, e.g. ask it something in an authoritative manner and it will
lie (Apple is nobody's b***h). Try it!

They would know cause... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40090099)

They wrote Watson...

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