Siri is not deliberately blocking abortion clinic searches – Apple

1 Dec 2011

Apple has said Siri’s inability to find abortion clinics, reproductive health centres and contraception in the US is not intentional, after a number of people complained about the gap in information.

Earlier this week, bloggers discovered the iPhone 4S’ voice-control assistant could not find any information on the locations of contraception or abortion clinics.

Many were concerned Siri’s search results were deliberately biased against abortion, pointing out that the service wasn’t shy about informing people where to find an escort or Viagra.

“Although it isn’t clear that Apple is intentionally trying to promote an anti-choice agenda, it is distressing that Siri can point you to Viagra, but not the Pill, or help you find an escort, but not an abortion clinic,” wrote the American Civil Liberties Union in a blog post.

However, an Apple spokesperson said Siri’s inability to find abortion clinics and birth control was not intentional. They said it was due to the fact the service is still a beta.

“Our customers want to use Siri to find out all types of information, and while it can find a lot, it doesn’t always find what you want,” said a spokesperson for Apple to NYT Bits.

“These are not intentional omissions meant to offend anyone. It simply means that as we bring Siri from beta to a final product, we find places where we can do better, and we will in the coming weeks,” said the spokesperson.

Currently, Siri can only search for local businesses within the US. It’s also only configured to US, UK and Australian English speakers, as well as French and German, though it is available on Irish iPhone 4S devices.