Data leak at Siri
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Liz
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Data leak at Siri

Voice Assistant reads lock screen messages

You have a wide choice of voice assistant to pick from – whether it’s Siri, Cortana, Bixby or Google Assistant. But it’s Apple’s language assistant, Siri that has now become aware of a data leak.

However, it is hard to understand how – because Siri’s messages are actually protected by the lock screen. You can find out what happens with us.

We have already often reported about Siri and the other assistants. If you want to know more, read our blog posts Which language assistant is the best? and Highlights of CES 2018.

Voice assistant has a data leak

Voice Assistant Siri parrots messages that are actually protected by the lock screen.

Voice assistant Siri data leak

But what exactly is Sir’s data leak all about? Actually, the iPhone X doesn’t actually show you incoming text messages until you unlock the device. This is to protect your privacy and prevent unauthorised access. But language assistant Siri reads the lock screen messages. This was discovered by the Spanish MacMagazine. A mistake in Siri  is to blame for the fact that it reads out the messages on command, which actually only comes to light after unlocking.

By default, iPhone X keeps the content of new messages hidden on the lockscreen. Only when you are authorised by Face ID or Touch ID, will the smartphone display the messages.

Data leak in lock screen messages

But now this data leak has become known. And it’s not the first. If strangers have access to your smartphone, they can have their messages read to you by voice command. Affected by this data leak all Messenger services such as WhatsApp, Facebook or other third-party apps. There’s one exception: messages sent via Apple’s iMessage service are kept by Siri . The question remains about the privacy – but privacy seems to be a foreign word for Siri.

The problem is that Siri also divulges other personal information – such as the question of owner data. A great thing if an honest person finds a lost smartphone, but for criminals it is a source of data that can be used for phishing and other scams.

Protect lock screen messages since iOS 11

A special feature for blocking screen messages has been available since iOS 11 via the Settings menu for “Messages”. Previously, this feature was only available for iMessage notifications. Since iOS 11, you can select when messages should appear on the screen under ‘Show previews”. By default, the setting is “If unlocked”. Then you will not have access to your messages until you have authenticated yourself.

However, if Siri is activated, the announcement “Hey Siri, read my notifications” is enough and she starts talking – regardless of whether the smartphone is locked or not. Since it is uncertain when Apple will fix this problem, we advise you to disable the lock screen reading function on Siri. The necessary settings can be found in the menu under “Siri & Search”.

Prevent data leakage with Siri

So that your privacy is protected and you do not become a victim through the Siri Data leak, the basic rule is:  never leave your smartphone lying around, so that others have the opportunity to play around. Always take it with you, put it in your pocket quickly, and don’t leave it anywhere. Ini this way you also prevent the expense of buying another one if it goes missing.

If you often carry your smartphone in your pocket, you can expect unsightly scratches on the screen. But, to ensure that your smartphone has a scratch-free display for as long as possible, we recommend you contact your local TrustATec partner who can protect your screen. Or our technicians can carry out a repair if necessary.

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