Germany Orders Google to Stop Human Review of Voice Recordings

Coincidentally, on the same day that Apple is voluntarily pausing its Siri grading human review, a Germany privacy watchdog ordered Google to stop its human review of voice snippets (via TechCrunch).

Human Audio Review

Apple’s Siri human review was just the latest of privacy revelations that were discovered. Amazon and Google contractors were found to be listening to audio snippets from Alexa and Google Home devices.

Under Article 66 of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), the Hamburg data protection authority began an “urgency procedure” last month. The result is ordering Google to stop what its doing when it comes to human review.

It’s not clear whether Google will be able to reinstate manual reviews in Europe in a way that’s compliant with the bloc’s privacy rules. The Hamburg DPA writes in a statement [in German] on its website that it has “significant doubts” about whether Google Assistant complies with EU data-protection law.

The DPA urges other regional privacy watchdogs to take a closer look at the other voice providers, namely Amazon and Apple. Although an argument could be made that Apple is pausing voluntarily before it gets forced, it doesn’t seem like the company’s actions are linked to any regulatory order.

Further Reading:

[Apple Will Give Customers a Choice About Siri Grading]

[Apple Releases macOS Mojave 10.14.6 Supplemental Update for Sleep Issue]

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