18:35 14th Jun, 2012
F-Secure Chief Raises Security Concerns Over Siri, Calls It "Unsafe For Business"
Warns that users' private information being relayed to Apple's data centres is a major security risk.
F-Secure Vice-President Maria Nordgren has deemed Siri to be a bad idea, from an information security point of view. According to Nordgren, the virtual assistant's all-encompassing access to user data makes it a risk for businesses and users storing sensitive data on their iPhones. Siri has access to your contacts list, calendar, and other personal information, but the worrying part is that it communicates with Apple's servers to process the information for a response.
If hackers get a hold of this wealth of information, it can be leveraged for malicious intent that can potentially compromise interests of corporates as well. According to F-Secure, Apple's lack of transparency regarding its corporate security policy is most concerning. Worrying details such as who can access data collected by Siri, how long it is stored, and the extent and context of its usage haven't exactly been disclosed by the iPhone maker.
"Four out of ten users don’t worry about corporate data and don’t think it will leak. Take Siri, it’s cute right, I like it but if you ask it a question, the data is not stored on the iPhone — it goes to a datacentre in Oregon", explains Nordgren while addressing a press conference in Helsinki. She underscores her point rather ominously by adding, "If anyone was interested in that information you're screwed".
This news comes on the heels of IBM's ban on Siri from its staff iPhones, over security concerns. With the Siri coming over to iPads with iOS 6, chances are many more corporations may take the same stance as IBM, since the tablet is popular with businesses and is given to employees as well.
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