Essentially, Siri exists at Apple headquarters, not on your phone. Whenever you ask Siri a question, your voice is actually sent as a file to Apple’s data servers for analysis. There, the file is given a random number that links your phone to the data you sent, but contains no other identifying information about you (such as your phone number). This information is then stored on Apple servers for up to two years for testing purposes, though your randomized number will be deleted after six months.
If you’re concerned about Apple keeping your data, there’s a simple way to get the company to delete your information: Stop using Siri. “If a user turns Siri off, both identifiers are deleted immediately along with any associated data,” explained Apple spokesperson Trudy Miller.
For some, Apple storing data may not seem like a big deal. When we make a technical support call, we’re often told our entire conversation is being recorded for training purposes – it’s a default part of the experience. The point is, though, that at least the support call is honest about things up front. Tech companies are increasingly pushing the limits of their privacy policies, storing large amounts of information about us without many of us realizing it.
Apple has yet to make details about their Siri data retention policy public on the app’s FAQ page.