A proposed class action alleges Chase Bank has used a Microsoft subsidiary’s technology to record and examine California customers’ voiceprints without their express consent or knowledge.
The 20-page complaint says defendant JPMorgan Chase & Co. uses Gatekeeper, biometric-authentication security technology provided by Microsoft subsidiary Nuance Communications, to detect and protect against banking fraud by monitoring voice-based interactions. In a matter of seconds, the case states, Gatekeeper authenticates a customer caller “without prompting them to enter passwords or PINs, recite specific phrases or statements, or match the pitch, timbre, or rhythm of prior recordings of their speech.”
Instead, Gatekeeper analyzes a caller’s environment, behavior and other factors to “passively authenticate them” as they talk on the phone with Chase Bank’s contact center, the lawsuit relays. In doing so, Gatekeeper can pinpoint “identity mismatches,” and flag instances in which “known fraudsters” might be calling Chase Bank, the suit adds.
However, Chase Bank does not obtain express consent, written or otherwise, from callers who interact with its contact center before recording and examining their voiceprints and/or other voice stress patterns, the filing alleges.
The suit claims Chase Bank has run afoul of the California Invasion of Privacy Act, a state law that prohibits any person or entity from, among other things, “intentionally and without the consent of all parties to a confidential communication, us[ing] an electronic amplifying or recording device to eavesdrop upon or record [a] confidential communication.”
As the case tells it, Gatekeeper does not operate like a tape recorder or “tool” used by one party or another in a phone conversation. Instead, the software is used by Nuance and Microsoft to eavesdrop upon, record, extract data from and analyze a conversation to which they are not a party, the case says.
Chase Bank does not inform callers that third parties are listening to their confidential communications, according to the lawsuit.
The suit looks to cover all California residents who had their voiceprints or other elements of their conversations recorded by Microsoft and Nuance using the Gatekeeper software.
The lawsuit is among the latest to be filed amid a wave of litigation centered on alleged violations of the federal Video Privacy Protection Act, California Invasion of Privacy Act and other state privacy statutes, with companies being accused of illegally tracking website visitors’ activities, or monitoring their phone conversations, without consent.
Get class action lawsuit news sent to your inbox – sign up for ClassAction.org’s free weekly newsletter here.
Hair Relaxer Lawsuits
Women who developed cancer, endometriosis or reproductive problems after using hair relaxers such as Dark & Lovely and Motions may now have an opportunity to take legal action.