What can be more shocking than your phone’s autocorrect suggesting unknown email addresses and phone numbers that don’t belong to you? Well, exactly that happened with some SwiftKey app users. Some users have reported that they are getting predictions meant for other people, including phone numbers and email addresses. The British Keyboard app, which was acquired by Microsoft earlier this year, predicts the next word users want to write using artificial intelligence. The ability to sync has been temporarily disabled in the new device.
An anonymous user reported that they found their details had been compromised when a stranger emailed them, saying that their email address had been suggested by a brand new phone when logging into an account. Also, each letter typed by the stranger suggested the name of the user’s friends and addresses for private servers they are connected for work.
“A few days ago, I received an email from a complete stranger asking if I had recently purchased and returned a particular model of mobile phone, adding that not one but two of my email addresses (one personal and one work address) were saved on the phone she had just bought as brand-new,” said the user. “It also suggested, when she typed a zero, the telephone number for someone I had phoned recently.”
Another user found that after resetting their phone and reinstalling SwiftKey, it started suggesting German words, as well as a stranger’s email address.
“It’s bad enough to lose a trilingual dictionary built over almost four years. Now I’m also worrying about someone getting all my suggestions,” said Reddit user JawaharlalNehru.
SwiftKey responded in a blog, saying that the company is working to resolve the problem as quickly as possible.
“We have turned off the cloud sync service and are updating our applications to remove email address prediction. During this time, it will not be possible to back up your SwiftKey language model.”
The users were assured that the app is ok to use and none of their personal data will be lost.