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Digital Assistant Voiceprints Raise Privacy Concerns

BIOMETRICS

June 28, 2012

MIT's Technology Review reports on Apple's digital assistant Siri and its use of the human voice as a biometric identifier. The voice command is sent to company servers and broken down by feature extraction to pull out relevant characteristics. Voiceprints can be linked to an individual, which raises concerns that accidental disclosure, hacking or subpoenas could compromise an individual's privacy. A voice recognition researcher said, "Maybe anything that IDs you should stay on the phone," adding that not sending the full voiceprint waveform "would meaningfully improve privacy..." Apple has said that voiceprints are not linked to other user information.
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