Apple Promises Fix for Privacy Bug That Allows Siri to Read Hidden Notifications

After reports of a privacy bug encountered on iPhone models running iOS 11 surfaced online earlier this week, Apple on Thursday issued a statement confirming the issue and promising a fix in an upcoming update. To recall, the bug allowed Apple’s virtual assistant Siri to read out loud all notifications – including those that had hidden previews – from the lock screen to anyone who prompted it to “read my notifications”. At the time of writing, the bug is present in the latest beta version of iOS 11.3.

In a statement to MacRumors, Apple said, “we are aware of the issue and it will be addressed in an upcoming software update.” It is currently unclear whether the resolution will be issued in the next beta build of iOS 11.3 or in the upcoming stable iOS 11.2.7 update. The privacy bug particularly affected third-party messaging apps, the native iMessage app was exempt. Additionally, the bug has directly affected millions of users as notifications on the latest iPhone X are hidden by default out-of-the-box.

As reported earlier, we were able to spot this bug on an iPhone 7 Plus running iOS 11.2.6. You can try out the same by going into Settings > Notifications > Select a messaging app > Show Previews > When Unlocked. Once done, ask someone to send you a text on the app and activate Siri to ask it to “read my notifications” from the lock screen.

If you are concerned about your privacy and wish to control misuse of this bug until an update is ready, you can go into Settings > Notifications > disable Show on Lock Screen for all third-party messaging apps. Alternatively, users can disable Siri by going into Settings > Siri & Search > Allow Siri When Locked.