A July 2019 report fromThe Guardianover how Apple contractors “regularly hear confidential details” by listening to Siri recordings has sparked a proposed class action lawsuit against Apple over consumer privacy concerns.
The 20-page case out of California’s Northern District states that Apple’s Siri voice-recognition software is only supposed to record sound preceded by the utterance of the wake phrase “Hey Siri” or a specific gesture, such as pressing the home button on a Siri-enabled device. Moreover, the suit says, California law prohibits the recording of oral communications without the consent of all parties involved.
The suit argues that consumers, including minors, who have bought, used or interacted with Siri-enabled Apple devices have not consented to have conversations that were not preceded by “Hey Siri” or an activation gesture recorded. Heavily citing theGuardianreport, the lawsuit further says that many of the recordings overheard by Apple’s contractors were made without the knowledge of the individuals being recorded. Apple, according to the complaint, “knows that unauthorized recordings are common” yet has not informed consumers that they are “regularly being recorded without consent.”
“Apple has sold millions of Siri Devices to consumers during the Class Period,” the case states. “Many of these consumers would not have bought their Siri Devices if they had known Apple was recording their conversations without consent.”
The proposed class may cover all individuals who were recorded by a Siri-enabled device without consent from at least as early as October 12, 2011 through the present. Also proposed is a subclass of those who are or were a minor child and were recorded by a Siri device during that time period.