IBM’s Siri ban highlights companies’ privacy, trade secret challenges

Apple’s digital “assistant” Siri isn’t welcome at IBM; neither are Apple’s voice dictation features in the iPhone and iPad. IBM CIO Jeanette Horan revealed in an interview with Technology Review that the company turns off Siri on employees’ iPhones for fear that the service stores employees’ queries somewhere outside of IBM’s control. The move highlights some of the problems large enterprises face when employees begin using their own devices at work.”We’re just extraordinarily conservative,” Horan said. “It’s the nature of our business.”The revelation is making waves among the Apple blogosphere, but the company’s policy isn’t actually all that surprising. Siri — and Apple’s voice dictation features — send voice commands through the Internet to Apple’s servers for processing before returning a text result. Apple doesn’t make it clear whether it stores that data, for how long, or who has access to it. (As noted by our friends at Wired, this behavior from Siri is what caused the ACLU to post a warning about the technology in March of this year.) IBM most likely wants to protect its trade secrets, which is why it wouldn’t want any sort of spoken data from employees being stored on Apple’s servers.To continue reading this Ars Technica report in full, see:
arstechnica.com/apple/2012/05/ibms-siri-ban-highlights-companies-privacy-trade-secret-challenges/

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