According to Reuters’ latest reports, Apple Inc. told the U.S. lawmakers that its iPhone devices are not listening to their users without their consent and they don’t allow third-party apps to do that either.
This came right after lawmakers asked Apple is their devices were invading users’ privacy.
Reuters reports that representatives Greg Walden, Marsha Blackburn, Gregg Harper and Robert Latta wrote to Apple’s chief executive Tim Cook and Alphabet Inc chief executive Larry Page back in July and addressed various concerns about reports that smartphones could “collect ‘non-triggered’ audio data from users’ conversations near a smartphone in order to hear a ‘trigger’ phrase, such as ‘Okay Google’ or ‘Hey Siri.’”
Apple stated that iPhones are not recording audio while listening for Siri wake-up commands and Siri doesn’t ever share spoken words from users.
The tech giant stated that it requires users to approve microphone access explicitly and apps have to display a clear signal that they are listening to anything.
The letters in which the lawmakers had cited various reports that were suggesting the fact that third-party apps had access and used “non-triggered” data without users’ knowledge came right after the Congress’ hearings from April into Facebook’s privacy practices which included the testimony of the CEO Mark Zuckerberg.
Apple reportedly removed apps over privacy violations
Apple said that they even removed apps from its App Store over privacy violations but declined to say whether it had ever banned a developer.
The tech giant also said that it’s developers’ job to notify users when an application was removed due to privacy reasons.
“Apple does not and cannot monitor what developers do with the customer data they have collected, or prevent the onward transfer of that data, nor do we have the ability to ensure a developer’s compliance with their own privacy policies or local law,” Apple wrote.
It’s also important to note that App Store has generated $100 billion in revenue for developers over the past ten years.
Apple told lawmakers in the same letter that it rejected about 36,000 apps from among the 100,000 that are being submitted on a weekly basis for violating its guidelines.