There’s a semi-new application out for the iPhone called Dragon Dictation. Made by Nuance Communications, it is “an easy to use voice recognition application powered by Dragon Naturally Speaking that allows you to easily speak and instantly see your text or email messages” on your iPhone. You can also “update your facebook status, send notes and reminders to yourself, or Tweet to the world… all using your voice.”
This application is built and backed by a Nuance Communications, a fairly big mainstream company. And Dragon Naturally Speaking’s reputation is pretty legendary in the speech-to-dictation arena.
There’s just one big thing you need to know.
If you download and use Dragon Dictation for the iPhone, you’re legally handing a copy of every name in your address book to Nuance Communications.
In the privacy statement on the bottom of the iTunes download page, their statement says “in order to improve recognition accuracy, Dragon Dictation will only upload names from your address book… no emails, addresses, phone numbers or other personal information are uploaded. This information is not used for any purpose than improving the usability of the application. All data is stored in secure data centers according to stringent privacy and security standards.”
Only? Dragon Dictation will only take a copy of every single name I have in my address book?
What in the name of Stephen F Austin do the names of everyone I know have to do with speech recognition? Their reason given that they need it “in order to improve recognition accuracy” doesn’t ring true with me at all. There’s nothing in their EULA or website about phonetically parsing the names in an address book and re-downloading it to an iPhone when they’re done. So aside from doing that, what can they possibly need a list of everyone in an iPhone address book for?
The worst part in this case is that it’s free. Everyone is going to be clicking to download this application before reading the EULA and privacy statement at the bottom of the page.