[NTLK] iPhone speech recognition available

Mark Rollins mark at mrollins.com
Sat Dec 12 15:47:55 EST 2009

On Dec 8, 2009, at 3:00 PM, newtontalk-request at newtontalk.net wrote:

> Subject: Re: [NTLK] iPhone speach recognition available
> To: newtontalk at newtontalk.net
> Message-ID: <p0624080ac7445ca38cdf@[]>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset="us-ascii"
>> Stay away from this app if you or your contacts value privacy. Buried in
>> the EULA is a statement that your address book/contacts will be uploaded
>> to the vendor's servers AND, according to Nuance's website, become their
>> property. Apple needs to pull this app and slap Nuance down hard!

The Dragon Dictation application does upload a user’s contact NAMES ONLY (no phone numbers, email addresses, etc.), and the data is used only for optimizing name recognition when a user dictates.  It maintains its integrity and security. Unlike some other iPhone Apps, the EULA says this very clearly. So unless you keep people's email addresses in the surname data slot, their privacy is safe.
This app is AMAZING. you can also say punctuation marks such as "comma", "period", "question mark", "exclamation mark" etc.  To start a new paragraph just say "new paragraph", say "cap" before the word to turn on and off all caps. It gets like 100% accuracy, and even recognizes very unusual words.
Speaking more about the app's use of your Contacts list, Michael Thompson, Senior Vice President & General Manager with Nuance Mobile (the guy in the above video), writes:
As you may have experienced already, Dragon Dictation for the iPhone goes through your contact list on your iPhone and uploads the names to our server. We do this for a pretty simple reason: we found that people are often dictating names from their address book and expect the names to be recognized. We take this information and create an anonymous user profile for your device that understands what names are likely to dictate into a document. It's important to note that we only upload the names, not the e-mail addresses, phone numbers or any other personally identifying information from your contacts.
Even though there is no personally identifying information, we still treat all of this information with the highest privacy standards. All of our servers are located in the United States and meet the most stringent privacy and security standards. We conform to these high standards because we use the same data centers for other areas of our business where we are required to store personal information.

UPDATE 12/10/09:  Dragon announced today that it is working on an update to the app that will allow you to turn off the feature of uploading the names of your contacts to Nuance.  Thus, if this is a privacy concern for you, there should be a solution soon.

It's also English only for now, so it's not in the Danish, Italian, French, Finnish, Japanese, Malaysian, Indian, etc. iTunes stores ... so no one has to get slap happy!!

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