Privacy is a fundamental human right. At Apple, it’s also one of our core values.
How many times have you heard that? Apple even has a fancy page and shiny ads to brag about it. While this is definitely true when compared to direct competitors, if you strip it all down, it’s a bunch of bullshit. It’s simply something Apple does really really REALLY well. It’s a religion to them. It’s marketing.
I’m sure that you can do a search for yourself and find all the sneaky ways and techniques ( we know so far ) Apple uses to screw you over. But just in case you don’t want to bother, at least listen to this: “The Creepy Things Apple Knows About You (and Me)”.
However, that’s not the point of today’s discussion. Today we’re talking about why it might be a good idea to stop using Siri and, if you’re convinced, how to disable the virtual assistant.
Why? Here’s a quote from Apple’s iOS software license agreement.
By using Siri or Dictation, you agree and consent to Apple’s and its subsidiaries’ and agents’ transmission, collection, maintenance, processing, and use of this information, including your voice input and User Data, to provide and improve Siri, Dictation, and dictation functionality in other Apple products and services.
Siri on iOS
Turn off Dictation: Settings > General > Keyboard > Toggle off “Enable Dictation”. While we at it, you might also want to turn off Check Spelling, Predictive and Slide to Type. Why? For the same reasons you shouldn’t install a third party keyboard. Keylogging.
I doubt Apple has a keylogger built into iOS, but there’s no way of knowing for sure. We should blindly trust them.
Turn off Siri: You can do this by going to Settings > Siri & Search.
If you don’t want to turn off Siri for good, at least turn off “Listen for Hey Siri”, “Allow Siri When Locked” , “Suggestions in Search” and “Suggestions in Look Up”.
Siri on macOS
Turn off Dictation:
1. Open System Preferences
2. Search for Dictation
3. Go to Keybord > Dictation and turn it Off
Turn off Siri:
1. Open System Preferences
2. Click on Siri
3. Turn it Off
4. Back on the System Preferences main screen, click on Accessibility
5. Scroll down to Interaction>Siri and make sure Enable Type to Siri is disabled.
One more thing… The Siri analytics database is created even if the Siri launch agent disabled. Since, on macOS, we have a bit more control over the system compared to iOS ( at least for now, at the time of writing this ), let’s see how to clear the database and lock it.
1. Open the Terminal
rm -rfv ~/Library/Assistant/SiriAnalytics.db to delete the existing database.
3. Reboot your computer to create a brand new database.
4. Open Terminal and type
chmod -R 000 ~/Library/Assistant/SiriAnalytics.db to remove all read, write and execute permissions.
chflags -R uchg ~/Library/Assistant/SiriAnalytics.db to lock the file.