apps for blind & privacy

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iOS & iPadOS

Well, I don't know if I put this in the correct spot or not. Moderators, please move if you feel it belongs elsewhere.

The other day I found myself in the unenviable position of having to read sensitive personal information. I have several apps on my phone that can do this. Just for the halibut, I decided to ask Microsoft some privacy questions regarding Seeing AI. My specific questions were:
1) Who has access to the data we submit to be processed by Seeing AI?
2) For how long?
3) What happens to the data we submit, ie, is it stored, discarded, &, if stored, for how long?
4) Does this app have a privacy policy.

The answer was pretty (no, *really*!) nondescript, as follows:
"Thank you for your message. At Microsoft, we have a long tradition of commitment and investment in consumer privacy. Our products and services offer a number of controls and resources, including a privacy dashboard (you will need to log in) to enable our users to access and control their data. You can also visit the Privacy at Microsoft page to read our privacy commitments to customers and find additional resources."

Since there are *a lot* of apps that offer to help us, it seems as though they should be posting far more in-depth privacy policies, especially as regards the questions I asked above. & perhaps we as consumers need to get a lot more assertive about demanding to know how our data is being used &/or secured. & app developers, it would really be a great help & kindness if you would please consider posting a privacy policy for your apps.

Maybe no one but myself cares. The problem is, of course, I'd hate to use 1 of these apps to read sensitive info & find myself dealing w/identity theft a short time later as a result. & sometimes, unfortunately, we have no choice but to pass sensitive information to these apps now & again. It would be nice to at least know what their policies are regarding it.

Happy 2 weeks before Christmas. Lol.

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Comments

Submitted by Shawn T on Saturday, December 12, 2020

During a presentation at ACB National convention, I directly asked a similar question. I was told that images are sent for processing, then immediately deleted afterwards. You can hear this as part of their ACB Conference and Convention podcast. This was someone on the Seeing AI team who answered.

Submitted by Dennis Westphal on Saturday, December 12, 2020

Hi, thanks for thinking about privacy and connecting that topic to accessibility. When using Seeing AI you can at least use the short text mode in airplane-mode which suggests that all the operations in this mode are working on-device only.

Hope that helps
And Yes being more focused on privacy concerns is very important. So thanks again!
Dennis

Submitted by AbleTec on Saturday, December 12, 2020

Well, as I said, Michael:
"Well, I don't know if I put this in the correct spot or not. Moderators, please move if you feel it belongs elsewhere."

So thank you for doing that, & thank you for your work w/the Applevis community.

Shawn T, thank you for your insights from the ACB convention. & thank you, Dennis, for your workaround regarding airplane mode. Have you tried this, ie, can these images really be processed on the device or is the internet required for doing this, as in Siri, for example?

I'll try this when I have a moment.