A hot potato: An anonymous source told The Guardian late last month that quality control contractors regularly hear personal conversations with Siri ranging in topic from drug deals and chats with doctors to intimate interactions. Many were accidentally captured.

Apple in the wake of a damning report regarding its Siri audio clip review process has announced major changes to the program.

In a news release published on Wednesday, the Cupertino-based company said it conducted a thorough review of its practices and policies related to the Siri quality evaluation process, or grading.

“As a result of our review, we realize we haven’t been fully living up to our high ideals, and for that we apologize. As we previously announced, we halted the Siri grading program. We plan to resume later this fall when software updates are released to our users — but only after making the following changes.”

When it resumes later this fall, the program will be opt-in meaning you'll have to explicitly agree to having Apple listen to your Siri conversations. What’s more, only Apple employees will be allowed to listen to audio samples of Siri interactions. Up to this point, Apple used quality assurance auditors from outside firms bound by confidentiality agreements.

Additionally, Apple will no longer retain audio recordings of Siri interactions but will continue to use computer-generated transcripts to help Siri improve.

Apple also posted a support document that goes into greater detail on Siri’s privacy and grading policies.

Reports have also surfaced claiming similar eavesdropping by Amazon, Google and Microsoft to improve their respective software offerings.

Masthead credit: Siri by Wachiwit