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Hey Siri, Don’t Allow Others To Use My iPhone

siri privacy bug

If you get ten loyal iPhone users in a room and ask about their favourite feature, you’ll probably start a debate that’ll put Nixon VS Kennedy to shame. But, I’m pretty sure there’ll be one thing they’ll agree upon – and happily. Can you guess what? Yes, Siri! You can use her to make calls, send texts, set alarms, get directions, answer questions, and pretty much anything else under the sun. She’s basically like your personal ‘tell me why’ and she never lets you down. But what if I told you that Siri too has betrayed you, and here’s how!

Siri’s Betrayal

Okay okay, calling it a betrayal might be a little dramatic, but it’s not too far from the fact. Siri – in all iPhone models since the iPhone 6s – comes to your assistance with just a simple “Hey Siri”. And while this is great as it makes your life easier and quicker, thanks to this, it also poses a privacy threat.  

Since Siri isn’t able to distinguish between the nuances of someone’s voice, anyone with a similar voice to yours can use your iPhone through Siri. They can get her to make calls on your behalf, send texts, emails, and a lot more. The best part is that they won’t even have to touch your iPhone to any of this.

Apple’s Stance on User Privacy

This Siri bug also allows people to find out whether or not you know someone. One could just ask Siri to call someone, and if she’s able to, it’ll be clear that you have that person in your contacts. Imagine this in a situation of law enforcement. While it would help the authorities potentially solve a case, it also goes against Apple’s stringent user privacy policies. After all, the tech giant refused to give the FBI access to the San Bernardino’s iPhone back in 2016.  Apple has since made the iPhone’s evolved security – case in point their impregnable Face ID – a huge focus of their marketing efforts.

Hey Siri, Bye Siri

If you’re someone with tape on your front camera, we can understand why your hands might be trembling at this point. Lucky for you, there’s an easy solution to this problem – turning off the “Hey Siri” feature. All you have to do is go to your iPhone’s Settings> Siri & Search> Turn off “Listen for ‘Hey Siri’”. However, if you still want the function, there’s an option that allows you to use her only once you’ve unlocked your iPhone. For this go to your iPhone’s Settings> Siri & Search> Turn off “Allow Siri When Locked.

So, folks, that’s how you can take matters into your own hands, at least until Apple figures out how to fix the bug. And I sure hope they find a way around it fast, because things being what they are, this bug paints Apple in a somewhat unfavourable light. Amazon’s Alexa and Google Assistant can effectively tell the voices of their owners apart from strangers, and the way Apple has been losing battles recently … Well, let’s say, they need to bring their A-game.

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