Apple confirms fix for Siri reading aloud hidden notifications on iPhone

Apple confirms an incoming fix for Siri which will prevent the assistant from reading hidden lock screen notifications.

  • Published: March 23, 2018 12:44 PM IST

Apple has confirmed it will fix a bug that caused Siri to read aloud hidden lock screen notifications from many apps on iPhones. It was reported early this week that iPhone users can simply ask Siri to “read my notifications”, and the digital assistant will read aloud the contents of notifications. However, it read notifications that are hidden from a wide selection of apps.

Now, Apple has confirmed to MacRumors that a fix is on its way. “We are aware of the issue and it will be addressed in an upcoming software update,” Apple said. The update should arrive in iOS 11.3, which is available in the form of beta, but Apple might release an interim update with the fix like it did when a Telugu character was found crashing messaging apps on iPhones.

This issue, in particular, leads to a privacy concern since Siri is reading aloud messages and emails from third-party apps like Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp and Gmail, even when the phone is locked and notifications are set to hidden. This violates the privacy rule, and is a concern for iPhone users who expect that their notifications stay hidden and cannot be read by others.

On iPhone X with Face ID, the lock screen notifications are set to hidden by default. The contents of notifications are hidden until the user authenticates with Face ID. However, on other iPhone models, the setting is not enabled by default and users need to activate it by heading to Settings -> Notifications -> Show Previews.

The setting menu offers three options namely –
1. Always – where lock screen notifications are fully visible
2. When Unlocked – The lock screen notifications remain hidden until the user authenticates with Face ID, Touch ID or passcode.
3. Never – The lock screen notifications are always hidden

In order to stop Siri from reading your notifications, iPhone users can turn off notifications for sensitive apps by going to Settings -> Notifications -> select an app, and toggle off Show on Lock Screen. Alternatively, iPhone users can fully disable Siri whenever the iPhone is locked by clicking Settings -> Siri & Search -> Allow Siri When Locked. Apple has not shared a specific timeline for the release of this update. Stay tuned to for update on when the fix is released.

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  • Published Date: March 23, 2018 12:44 PM IST