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Wednesday 18 September 2019

300 Cork-based Apple contractors 'who heard chat on Siri' lose jobs

Stock photo: Reuters
Stock photo: Reuters
Ian Begley

Ian Begley

Around 300 contractors working for Apple who had frequently heard confidential recordings via Siri have lost their jobs.

The contractors - based in Co Cork - were employed to check Siri recordings for errors and had been on paid leave since August 2 when Apple announced it was suspending its "grading" programme.

The decision came after it emerged the workers frequently heard confidential medical information and couples having sex while checking the Siri recordings.

Known as "graders", they had been employed through contracting firms including GlobeTech.

Many were told there was no work available at the time they were sent home due to "technical errors" according to UK newspaper 'The Guardian'.

A former contractor told the paper: "We've all been laid off after the scandal, with no protection against this. More than 300 at once just in Cork, with no redundancy, just one week's notice."

Last month, an Apple whistleblower revealed there have been "countless instances of recordings featuring private discussions between doctors and patients, business deals, seemingly criminal dealings, sexual encounters and so on".

Apple employs around 6,000 in Ireland, mostly at Cork's Hollyhill site, where it has invested more than €220m.

It did not respond to a request for comment.

Irish Independent

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