Apple is facing a class-action lawsuit for alleged violation of user privacy over recent revelations regarding Apple contractors listening to Siri recordings. Other tech companies are also under fire for similar issues.
Lawsuit Against Apple
It was only recently that an Apple contractor revealed that they regularly listen to Siri recordings, some of which were unintended interactions that captured sensitive information. At around the same time, contractors of other tech companies also revealed similar practices.
Now, Apple is facing a class-action lawsuit claiming that the company violated the privacy of their customers by recording and listening to their Siri interaction without their consent. Specifically, the lawsuit states that Apple’s terms and conditions do not state that the recordings would be saved and listened to by Apple employees.
“This action arises from Defendant’s unlawful and intentional recording of individuals’ confidential communications without their consent,” the lawsuit states.
The lawsuit also focused on the fact that many of the recordings that Apple contractors have listened to are merely accidental recordings that were captured without utterance of the wake phrase “Hey Siri.” This is allegedly in violation of California laws that prohibits the recording of oral communication without the consent of all parties involved.
As such, the plaintiffs claim that anyone who has had an Apple device with Siri since October 2011 is affected by the lawsuit. This includes minors who own Apple devices and also did not consent to the recordings. In fact, the plaintiff is a minor who is bringing the charges through and by a legal guardian.
Invasion Of Privacy Act
The lawsuit was filed in Northern California and alleges that Apple violated the state’s Invasion of Privacy Act, the Declaratory Judgment Act, the Consumers Legal Remedies Act, and the Unfair Competition Law. For the offenses, the plaintiffs are seeking unspecified damages and would like for Apple to be required to delete all Siri recordings.
“Plaintiffs would like to continue to use Siri Devices in the future, but will be uncertain as to whether Apple ceased its unlawful practices and violation of their privacy rights without the equitable relief requested herein, specifically an injunction prohibiting Apple from engaging in the unlawful practices alleged herein,” the lawsuit states.
So far, Apple is conducting a review of its Siri grading methods and has suspended the human grading program globally. When the company brings it back, it will be a different type of grading, and users will have the choice of opting out.