Siri's Default Settings Leave Your iPhone 4S Exposed

Illustration for article titled Siri's Default Settings Leave Your iPhone 4S Exposed

The iPhone 4S's Siri is sassy and she's everybody's new favorite toy, but it turns out she's leaving the door open for strangers to access information on your phone even when it's passcode locked. Siri! How could you?

By default, users can activate Siri (iOS 5's new digital assistant) even when the iPhone 4S is passcode locked, which is incredibly convenient if it's you that's using your phone. But, as CNET is reporting, if someone else gets their hands on your phone, it could be very dangerous. Anyone who picks up your phone could get it to reveal your upcoming calendar appointments and know exactly where you are going to be and when. It can also be used to send emails or text messages.


There are some limitations. While it's passcode locked you can't launch any apps, and you can't send texts or emails to anyone who isn't in your contacts, so that kind of thing could only be abused by someone who knows you, but I don't find that particularly comforting.

The good news is that this can be disabled. In the Passcode Lock settings, all you have to do is switch Siri to "Off". You'll still be able to use Siri, just not when the phone is locked. Basically, you have to choose between convenience and security, but that's your call. Still, this should be opt-in, rather than opt out, and that default setting is something we would definitely like to see them change in the next update. [CNET]

You can keep up with Brent Rose, the author of this post, on Google+ or Twitter.


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So what is Apple supposed to change in the next software update exactly? The entire article makes this out to be some gleaming security hole, but in reality there is already an option to disable it. I think eliminating the ability of Siri to act when the device is locked would severely limit its functionality. What are you proposing they change? Could it have voice recognition software to lock to your voice? That would be something now wouldn't it?