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Saturday, September 18, 2021

Siri listens too closely: class action lawsuit against Apple

For many people, the awareness of data protection is becoming more and more important. That is why the protection of their own data is becoming more and more important for many. Apple is now feeling this too, as the company has to go to court over a class action lawsuit.

• Apple employees leak: Siri records some intimate moments
• Class action lawsuit against Apple for invasion of privacy
• Other companies offer similar voice assistants

Siri listens to sex and drug trafficking

As early as 2019, The Guardian reported that some Apple whistleblowers said they could sometimes hear customers through Siri during the most intimate moments. Small parts of the Siri recordings are saved for the quality control of Apple’s voice assistant. These then listen to Apple employees to carry out quality controls. Informants admitted to The Guardian that sometimes very intimate moments are eavesdropped: from couples having sex, to medical information when visiting a doctor, to information about illegal activities such as drug deals.

Apple’s statement to The Guardian read: “A small fraction of Siri requests are analyzed to improve Siri and dictation. User requests are not associated with the user’s Apple ID. Siri responses are analyzed in secure facilities, and all Auditors are required to adhere to Apple’s strict confidentiality requirements. ” However, one of the whistleblowers expressed concerns to The Guardian about the lack of information about the recordings, especially as intimate moments are sometimes recorded.

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Apple has to go to court on class action lawsuit

A class action lawsuit against Apple was recently upheld. The plaintiffs accuse the company of the fact that the privacy of users is violated by Siri recordings and the disclosure of these to third parties. The information from the recordings is said to have been used for advertising purposes. US District Judge Jeffrey White has now ruled, according to t3n, to allow the lawsuit, as he sees possible violations of the law of unauthorized wiretapping and some California data protection laws.

What about other voice assistants?

But not only Apple offers voice assistants. Providers such as Google and Amazon also use similar applications. According to t3n, there could possibly be further class actions against providers of voice assistants in the future. However, it is not yet clear whether this will be the case.

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