On Tuesday, Apple’s digital assistant interrupted a speech in the House of Commons by Defense Secretary Gavin Williamson. He was speaking about Islamic State terrorists in Syria when Siri ― triggered by the country’s name ― chimed in.
“I found something on the web for Syria,” Siri said as Williamson began looking around in surprise.
“What a very rum business that is,” Speaker John Bercow interjected to laughs, using a Britishism for “odd.”
“It is very rare that you’re heckled by your own mobile phone.” Williamson replied as he apologized.
Later, he fired off a tweet about the incident:
Not everyone was laughing. Some raised security concerns about a defense secretary carrying a device that can eavesdrop:
Erm hate to ruin the gag about Williamson’s phone, but isn’t turning off Siri one of the most basic things that you do if you care about erm, cybersecurity
— Laura Kuenssberg (@bbclaurak) July 3, 2018
Siri is just another possible attack vector.
But I’d expect a defence secretary to only use phones that have been through a basic process of hardening.
— Peter Ellis (@almostconverge) July 3, 2018