(Pocket-lint) - Apple has been in the press recently for using human contractors to listen to Siri voice recordings in order to help the company improve the service from the voice-activated assistant by seeing how Siri responds to user requests. 

It was revealed by The Guardian in July 2019 that those human contractors were hearing a little more than they should, including patient and doctor conversations and recordings of private encounters intended for the bedroom only. The recordings were anonymous in that they weren't attached to an Apple ID but naturally it's still a privacy concern.

Apple isn't the first company to face these privacy concerns - Google was also in the news for the same complaints - and the Cupertino company has now temporarily suspended the response grading program worldwide and is working on a software update to allow users to opt in or out of it in the future.

How to delete your Siri recordings from Apple servers

If you want to get rid of any Siri recordings that might be on Apple servers though, here's how you do it. It's worth noting that you'll need to disable Siri from all Apple devices you use.

  • Open Settings
  • Scroll down to 'Siri & Search'
  • Toggle 'Listen for "Hey Siri"' off
  • Toggle 'Press Side Button for Siri' off
  • Turn Siri off

A message will appear above the Turn Siri Off step that reads: "The information Siri uses to respond to your requests is also used for Dictation and will remain on Apple serves unless Dictation is also turned off. Turning off Siri on your iPhone will turn off Siri on your Apple Watch".

As the message says, you also need to turn off Dictation before your recordings are cleared from Apple servers. Here's how to do that:

  • Open Settings
  • Click on 'General'
  • Scroll down to 'Keyboard'
  • Toggle 'Enable Dictation' off
  • Turn Off Dictation

You'll get a message above that last step that says: "The information Dictation uses to respond to your requests will be removed from Apple servers. If you want to use Dictation later, it will take some time to resend this information. Turning off Dictation on your iPhone will turn off Dictation on your Apple Watch".

Bear in mind that if you then choose to turn Siri back on again in the future, data will start being collected again. You can read Apple's Privacy policy here.

Writing by Britta O'Boyle.