People working from home encouraged not to discuss work matters near smart speaker

People working from home encouraged not to discuss work matters near smart speaker
File photo of an Amazon smart speaker.

People who are working from home are encouraged not to discuss work-related matters near a smart speaker.

The Revenue Commissioners issued guidance to its own staff working remotely warning them about having a smart speaker nearby.

The notice was sent after an OECD report found that while no evidence suggests there are data protection issues, there is still a potential risk attached.

Last year, the Irish Examiner reported that fixed-term workers in Cork were hired to listen to and ‘grade’ Siri recordings.

That report followed revelations that human third-party contractors worldwide were carrying out the work on behalf of the tech-giant without Apple users’ knowledge.

Staff then transcribed and ‘graded’ these recordings based on a number of different factors.

These factors included if the activation of Siri was accidental or if the query was something the voice assistant could or couldn’t assist with.

Last December, Apple told the Dáil's communications committee that it is no longer using contractors to listen to Siri recordings taken from customer devices.

Reviews were only carried out on a "very small subset" of recordings, the company added.

- additional reporting by Irish Examiner staff.

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