Update: Dragon Dictation

One of the prime concerns people seemed to have about using Nuance’s Dragon Dictation iPhone app was that the application took names from their phone’s address book and uploaded them into Nuance’s servers so that the software could recognize those names when you asked for translation into text.

The more paranoid among you feared that Nuance was gleaning private info from unsuspecting users and planned to use that info for dark deeds.

That Nuance made it clear what and how the info was being used seemed to make no difference. Some people even claimed that the application was a trojan; an application posing as something useful, but its real purpose was far more nefarious.

I'm poking fun, and of course Dragon Dictation is not a trojan and the company had nothing underhanded in mind when it grabbed your address book names. They just wanted the app to work better is all.

Consider that Nuance did warn people about the name upload. If they had any ill-intentions then why alert people to them? Also, it is just the names that are uploaded, no other info.

I will agree (with Geoduck, who suggested this in a comment made on the original article) that they could have allowed users to opt out of the name grab. Since this is their first iPhone app I can see how Nuance may have underestimated such a sensitive issue.

To their credit Nuance has quickly addressed the name grab complaint with a new update to the Dragon Dictation app. In version 1.1.0, which is now available as a free download at the iTunes Store, you can opt out of the name upload. Better still, they also let you remove any names that might have been uploaded when you first used the app. Bravo Nuance.

I also applaud those of you who complained. Without such feedback companies like Nuance won't know when they've crossed a privacy line. It also lets them and others like them know that people are watching, which should keep those who might consider the Dark Side on the straight and narrow, and that's a good thing.

By the way, Nuance has also released their voice activate Dragon Search iPhone app. Say it and it finds it. Cool! (No name uploads here.)