Almost every major smartphone manufacturer has its own voice assistant. With advancements in technology, companies want to put a smart device in the user’s pocket and home, raising questions about privacy.
In line with that, a lawsuit was filed against Apple alleging that the company’s voice assistant, called Siri, has improperly recorded private conversations. In a ruling related to that case, the judge ruled that the company will have to face the lawsuit, reports Reuters.
Apple had requested to dismiss the lawsuit, and Judge Jeffrey S. White of the federal district court in Oakland did dismiss one piece of the lawsuit that involved users’ economic harm. But he ruled that the plaintiffs, who are trying to make it a class-action lawsuit, could continue pursuing claims about violating user privacy.
The judge said the plaintiffs may pursue claims that Apple violated the federal Wiretap Act and California privacy law and committed a breach of contract. However, he dismissed an unfair competition claim. The case claims that Siri turned on unprompted and recorded conversations that it shouldn’t have and passed the data along to third parties.
One Siri user said his private discussions with his doctor about a “brand name surgical treatment” caused him to receive targeted ads for that treatment, while two others said their discussions about Air Jordan sneakers, Pit Viper sunglasses, and “Olive Garden” caused them to receive ads for those products.
Apple isn’t the only one facing a lawsuit for this, but its competitors Google and Amazon, are also facing allegations of violating user privacy by voice assistants. The companies deny that they are listening to conversations for any purpose other than the intended ones.
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