Shopping with Siri was in the works at Apple, but the company eventually decided to cancel that project. According to The Information, the initial project — which dates back to 2019 — ultimately did not see the light of day due to data privacy concerns.
Privacy concerns with Siri
Employees had thought about letting users go through Siri to buy apps or subscribe to services, much like Amazon’s Alexa assistant offers. The project was stalled, however, in part because of strict privacy rules that prevented Siri from linking a person’s Apple ID to their voice request. Apple’s team behind this feature couldn’t find any other way to reliably authenticate users in order to charge them, hence the abandonment.
Other services pay the price for this important confidentiality. Apple TV+, for example, does not collect demographic information about its customers or a history of what they have watched. This prevents employees from analyzing how customers move from one content to another, making it nearly impossible to recommend other programs based on their preferences. Conversely, Netflix, Disney+ and the others analyze habits to understand everyone’s tastes and offer content likely to appeal.
Separately, The Information highlights privacy concerns during the development of the Apple Watch. Features like “Wrist Raise,” which allows users to speak to Siri without having to say “Hey Siri” by simply raising their wrist, were the subject of initial resistance due to data collection concerns. with the microphone and the accelerometer.