How to manage Siri privacy settings in iOS 13.2

In iOS 13.2, you can opt out of Siri voice review requests and delete recording history from your Apple devices.

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Image: Cory Bohon/TechRepublic

Apple has long been known for privacy on its computing and services platforms, but one area where the company has fallen short is Siri. Unfortunately, due to the way Siri works, recorded conversations with the virtual assistant can be used anonymously to verify that voice recognition is working properly. A human quality assurance engineer will listen to the recording to ensure the transcription to the Siri service is accurate.

Apple came under fire for this practice earlier this year by not giving users the ability to opt out of this feature. While the feature is used for improving the quality of Siri, and the recordings are anonymized and reviewers won't know who originated the recording, users utilize Siri for calling, messaging, and looking up personal or private information, which can be a privacy concern for many people.

Fortunately, with iOS 13.2, Apple has added the ability to manage the deletion of Siri history and opt out of recording reviews. Learn how to make both of these changes to Siri privacy settings.

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How to opt out of Siri voice request reviews

If you no longer wish to give Apple the ability to review your recording history to improve Siri dictation and voice recognition, then you have the ability to opt out of this feature starting in iOS 13.2. Follow these steps.

  1. Open Settings | Privacy | Analytics & Improvements.
  2. Turn Off Improve Siri & Dictation (Figure A).

Figure A

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Disabling the Improve Siri & Dictation feature means that your Siri recordings won't be reviewed by Apple at any point.

Note: When you disable this data collection feature on an iPhone, it will also disable the feature on HomePods and Apple Watch devices connected to the iPhone. It is worth noting that disabling this feature and removing past history can result in degraded experiences with Siri.

How to delete Siri recording history

If you've used Siri on your device, chances are there are recordings and history associated with Siri already stored with Apple. To remove this data, perform the following steps.

  1. Open Settings | Siri & Search | Siri & Dictation History.
  2. Select the Delete Siri & Dictation History button (Figure B).

Figure B

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Removing Siri and dictation history means that all data associated with the device is removed on Apple's servers, including recordings.

Note: This history is stored with Apple on a per-device basis; this means that you must perform these steps on each device to completely remove all your stored Siri data. Previous data stored with Apple was only stored for a maximum of six months before being removed.

For more information on how, why, and when Apple collects data from your devices, go to Apple's Privacy Website.

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