Siri and iCloud Banned at IBM Headquarters over Security Risks

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Wired points to a recent Technology Review interview with IBM chief information officer Jeanette Horan highlighting the issues of the "bring your own device" trend in which employees choose their own mobile devices to bring to the workplace and use for company business. But even when employees wish to use their own devices, IBM locks down a number of features for security reasons, cutting off access to Siri, iCloud, and Dropbox among other services.

Horan calls IBM's security outlook "extremely conservative", noting that the company is concerned about Siri queries being stored on Apple's servers. As Wired notes, Apple does indeed store such information in order to perform transcription and offer results, as well as keeping it for some time in order to help improve overall performance.
It turns out that Horan is right to worry. In fact, Apple's iPhone Software License Agreement spells this out: "When you use Siri or Dictation, the things you say will be recorded and sent to Apple in order to convert what you say into text," Apple says. Siri collects a bunch of other information -- names of people from your address book and other unspecified user data, all to help Siri do a better job.

How long does Apple store all of this stuff, and who gets a look at it? Well, the company doesn't actually say. Again, from the user agreement: "By using Siri or Dictation, you agree and consent to Apple's and its subsidiaries' and agents' transmission, collection, maintenance, processing, and use of this information, including your voice input and User Data, to provide and improve Siri, Dictation, and other Apple products and services."

Because some of the data that Siri collects can be very personal, the American Civil Liberties Union put out a warning about Siri just a couple of months ago.
Apple is far from the only company to store users' personal information on its servers, but its popularity unsurprisingly places the company in the spotlight and is a particular focus for those such as corporate security personnel seeking to maintain privacy and control over such data.

Article Link: Siri and iCloud Banned at IBM Headquarters over Security Risks
 

nefan65

macrumors 65816
Apr 15, 2009
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I think this should be the least concern of IBM...
 
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teknishn

macrumors 6502
Nov 16, 2006
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Sooo, don't use the corporate wifi on your phone. I wouldnt want my bosses knowing what Im doing on the intraweb anyway.
 
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0815

macrumors 68000
Jul 9, 2010
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Well, I guess IBM is a too big of a company to move along with new technologies. Policies are outdated and it takes years to update them - once they are updated, they are already out dated since technology moved on. It is amazing how big cooperations can stand in their own way and not adjust ... glad I work for a small technology startup that goes with the time.
 
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applesith

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Jun 11, 2007
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IBM doesn't want proprietary information dictated to Siri because it will be stored on Apple's server. Not surprising.
 
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chachawpi

macrumors member
Feb 7, 2009
77
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Sooo, don't use the corporate wifi on your phone. I wouldnt want my bosses knowing what Im doing on the intraweb anyway.
I'm sure they are locking it down at the device level with policies, not on their "corporate Wi-Fi" heh.
 
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ristlin

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Mar 29, 2012
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This is an underhanded move by IBM. Reminds me of a situation in Atlas Shrugged when a large "unbiased" organization comes out and says they aren't sure if a new steel is safe to use in a public project like building a railroad, which of course makes everyone afraid to ride on said rails out of fear of the unknown. Same applies here, IBM is playing the "we can't be sure of its security" card to pretty much make people question the iCloud service.
 
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mlmwalt

macrumors 6502a
Jun 8, 2010
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Philadelphia, Pa, USA
IBM doesn't want proprietary information dictated to Siri because it will be stored on Apple's server. Not surprising.
Exactly. I'm surprised you don't hear about it more. Even though data protection is a common sense thing, I wouldn't put my company's stuff into my iCloud account. And I certainly wouldn't put anthing of critical value on my iPhone, even password protected.
 
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milo

macrumors 604
Sep 23, 2003
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How do they "cut off" access to Siri? Doesn't it require 3G as opposed to wifi? Or is this just a policy they have in place but with no way of enforcing it?

In general it seems like companies can't really stop people from doing much of anything on their phones, at least not unless they're totally blocking cel phone signals or not letting people bring phones in the building.

So they should ban all search engines and all Google products then?
In some cases companies require disabling search suggestions since they feel it sends too much info to google.
 
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NAG

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Aug 6, 2003
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Bit funny that IBM, one of the champions of the thin client/terminal computing is blocking cloud computing. Completely understandable that they don't want product data off their campus, though.
 
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Rocketman

macrumors 603
In principal Apple could put a bot on one server to aggregate stuff from certain IPs or users as a means to do industrial espionage against/on IBM. But while technically possible and maybe even easy it would run afoul of laws agnostic to what technology is used.

As we all know Apple uses the access to info to improve Siri and its associated services on an aggregate not individual person basis.

I don't see how permanent paranoia and possibility of paragraph 1 will ever go away, and I don't see how one can make and improve services like Siri without paragraph 2.

I would actually be more concerned about government agencies using their back door access to do paragraph 1. That is not merely a possibility but a baseline expectation.

Rocketman
 
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Amazing Iceman

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Bit funny that IBM, one of the champions of the thin client/terminal computing is blocking cloud computing. Completely understandable that they don't want product data off their campus, though.
Well, they have their own Cloud offering, so why use the competitions when they should be using their own?
The Post title is misleading into making believe there is a security risk in SIRI and iCloud, when in reality it is a security concern for IBM only, as they are afraid their 'secrets' may be discovered by Apple.
 
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Jibbajabba

macrumors 65816
Aug 13, 2011
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Well, they have their own Cloud offering, so why use the competitions when they should be using their own?
The Post title is misleading into making believe there is a security risk in SIRI and iCloud, when in reality it is a security concern for IBM only, as they are afraid their 'secrets' may be discovered by Apple.
Exactly, as obviously only Apple would have access to the data in question.
 
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rmwebs

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Apr 6, 2007
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Its a completely understandable concern. Apple are in effect second to Google now when it comes to your personal information. It wont be long before this silly fad of 'Google is evil because they personalize adverts based on what I search for' turns into 'Apple is evil because they customize my TV adverts based on where my iPhone has been'.

The fact is, information is a valuable asset. Apple WILL collect as much information as they can as it increases ad revenue, which Apple WILL rely on with the rumored upcoming TV.

As for the cloud stuff, I'd personally not be too worried about that. iCloud is pants compared to anything Amazon, Google or IBM have done in the cloud.
 
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NAG

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Aug 6, 2003
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Well, they have their own Cloud offering, so why use the competitions when they should be using their own?
The Post title is misleading into making believe there is a security risk in SIRI and iCloud, when in reality it is a security concern for IBM only, as they are afraid their 'secrets' may be discovered by Apple.
Yeah, I mean Apple lets you disable Siri for this very reason. Just funny that it even needs to be stated. You'd think IBM employees would be using an IBM service.
 
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KnightWRX

macrumors Pentium
Jan 28, 2009
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So they should ban all search engines and all Google products then?
This isn't about search. Everything you tell Siri, including Reminders, E-mail, Text messages, etc.. is sent to Apple.

----------

Well, I guess IBM is a too big of a company to move along with new technologies. Policies are outdated and it takes years to update them - once they are updated, they are already out dated since technology moved on. It is amazing how big cooperations can stand in their own way and not adjust ... glad I work for a small technology startup that goes with the time.
Hum... IBM is a bit ahead of Apple in the game of natural language processing :

http://www-03.ibm.com/innovation/us/watson/what-is-watson/index.html
 
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Joe-Diver

macrumors 6502
Aug 2, 2009
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Its a completely understandable concern. Apple are in effect second to Google now when it comes to your personal information.
Personally I don't care because 90% of the "personal information" I've provided is false anyway.
 
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Stella

macrumors G3
Apr 21, 2003
8,354
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This is an underhanded move by IBM. /QUOTE]

How is it ever underhanded!? IBM feel that SIRI is a security risk so they block it.

In fact, many organizations cut off access to certain websites / ports ( i.e., no FTP ). At my place of work we cannot get to social networks, FTP, nor can we get to the iTunes Appstore or MAS.

This story is a bit of a non story, really.
 
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rmwebs

macrumors 68040
Apr 6, 2007
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Personally I don't care because 90% of the "personal information" I've provided is false anyway.
OH dont get me wrong I do agree. In fact I couldnt give a monkeys what Google, IBM or Apple know about me as I know its only being used to make them more money through advertising, with zero effect on me. It's not like your personal info is being sold to the Mafia as some Google haters would have you believe! :p
 
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