Apple told U.S. lawmakers on Tuesday that its iPhones do not listen to users without their consent and do not allow third-party apps to do so either.
In July, Apple and Alphabet CEOs were questioned by Congress about mobile tracking data and whether the virtual assistants listen in and record conversations between the user and device.
The letters, addressed to Apple CEO Tim Cook and Alphabet CEO Larry Page, were sent by the U.S. Energy and Commerce Committee and asked\ for answers about the collection of data through their devices and services, such as email, location data and voice.
Reuters obtained copies of Apple’s response to lawmakers, but reported that Alphabet did not respond to questions about whether the company replied.
Apple told lawmakers that developers need to take responsibility to notify users when apps are removed, and in the past it has removed apps from its App Store over privacy violations. It did not say whether it ever banned developers from its store.
The letter to lawmakers, per Reuters, stated that Apple cannot monitor what developers do with customer data and does not have the ability to ensure they meet privacy laws and compliance. The company also stated that over the years it has rejected about 36,000 apps from among the 100,000 submitted weekly for violations of its guidelines.
The attention being given to voice search and assistants by the U.S. government is not without warrant, as companies continue to build global platforms that support voice.
Earlier this week, Nippon Broadcasting System and voice search platform Audioburst announced a joint partnership to support and build voice technology products relying on Audioburst’s AI-based voice-search platform. Most will become available for the Japanese market.
As part of the expanded partnership, Nippon invested $3 million as part of Audioburst’s latest funding round led by Samsung Ventures, bringing the round’s total funding to $14.4 million.