With Gizmodo doing a post hyping Mountain Lion’s new dictation feature it’s probably a good time to note that folks in regulated environments or who just care about security & privacy a bit more than others should not enable or use this feature for the dictation of sensitive information.
From Apple’s own warning on the matter:
When you use the keyboard dictation feature on your computer, the things you dictate will be recorded and sent to Apple to convert what you say into text. Your computer will also send Apple other information, such as your first name and nickname; and the names, nicknames, and relationship with you (for example, “my dad”) of your address book contacts. All of this data is used to help the dictation feature understand you better and recognize what you say. Your User Data is not linked to other data that Apple may have from your use of other Apple services.
It’s much like what happens with Siri, Dragon Dictation or a myriad of other iOS and modern desktop apps/browser extensions. Thankfully, it performs the transfers over SSL, but that still won’t help you if your dictating health, financial or other regulated/NPPI/PII data.
While the feature is cool and does work pretty well, it’s important to make sure you and your users know what it does, how it works and where they can/cannot use it.