IBM headquarters is a Siri-free zone

IBM headquarters is a Siri-free zone
If you have a question for Siri, you better ask it outside of IBM’s territory because the digital assistant out of Cupertino is banned on their turf. MIT’s Technology Review got a chance to sit down with IBM chief information officer Jeanetter Horan to talk about IBM’s “bring your own device” policy and learned that IBM has bans on several popular pieces of software due to security concerns. In addition to Siri, iCloud and Dropbox are also not welcome in the workplace.

So what is IBM worried about? If you’re like most people you probably skip over those long terms of service agreements and just jump into the good stuff, but people like Horan have the job of reading through these legally binding clauses to determine what they actually mean and how it can impact their company. If you’ve ever used Siri, you’ve agreed to this:

So, yes, you have given Apple the legal right to record your voice, save it to its servers, let it decide who gets to listen to it, and it can decide how long it need to keep it for. Oh, and it also collects other information from your device, such as names of people in your address book – in the name of making Siri better. Perhaps you really don’t care if your queries are limited to asking Siri how many beers your buddy can handle or where the nearest pizza joint is, but if you’re IBM, it’s obviously a big deal.

MIT’s Technology Review said IBM “worries that the spoken queries might be stored somewhere.” Horan admits that IBM’s security policies are “extraordinarily conservative,” but with the uncertainties around what data is being collected, who has access, and how it is being used, it seems that IBM is taking the cautious, yet smart route by banning Siri altogether.


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