Lawsuit Accusing Apple of Recording of Confidential Siri Requests Without User Consent Dismissed

A Northern California judge today dismissed a class action lawsuit that accused Apple of the "unlawful and intentional" recording of confidential Siri communications without user consent.

hey siri
The class action lawsuit was first filed in August 2019 after it became known that Apple had employed contractors to listen to and grade some anonymized ‌Siri‌ conversations for product improvement purposes.

Those contractors told The Guardian that they overheard confidential medical details, drug deals, and other private information from accidental ‌Siri‌ activations, and some expressed concern that users were not adequately informed about the recordings.

As noted by Bloomberg, U.S. District Judge Jeffrey White said that the plaintiffs in the class action case did not provide enough detail about the alleged recordings that Apple collected. The plaintiffs are required to prove that they have suffered injury from Apple's actions in a "concrete and particularized" way that's not "conjectural or hypothetical."

All of the allegations in the lawsuit were based on information that was included in the original story from The Guardian highlighting Apple's use of contractors to analyze ‌Siri‌ data, with the plaintiffs providing no proof that their own private data was accidentally collected by Apple and misused.

The Guardian article does not plausibly suggest that all Apple's devices were subject to accidental triggers and review by third party contractors, much less that such interception always occurred in reasonably private settings. The article discusses frequency of accidental triggers primarily in relation to the Apple Watch and the HomePod speakers, neither of which are owned by the Plaintiffs.

Moreover, the article expressly states that only a "small portion" of daily Siri activations including were sent to contractors and that they included both deliberate and accidental activations. Finally, although the article describes private communications among the recordings sent to contractors, Plaintiffs allege no facts to suggest that their own private communications were intercepted by accidental triggers.

Though Apple's motion to dismiss the lawsuit was granted, the judge in the case is allowing the consumers involved in the lawsuit to revise and refile within 20 days, so Apple is not in the clear as of yet.

Following the class action lawsuit and other negative public feedback, Apple temporarily suspended and overhauled its ‌Siri‌ evaluation program, and in iOS 13.2, added an option to let users delete ‌Siri‌ history and opt out of sharing audio recordings.

Top Rated Comments

steve09090 Avatar
9 months ago

I hope they fix the lawsuit and get this going.
Why? Because they are a trillion dollar company who should hand over their $’s to Lawyers and Fools?

* Apple. Using anonymous voices to check for accuracy, versus
* 'Other' companies: Use your actual conversations, attached to your data for targeted advertising who tell you they are using your recordings for accuracy (of advertising).
Score: 15 Votes (Like | Disagree)
russell_314 Avatar
9 months ago

Apple can never do wrong according to the macrumors forums.
I’m not sure if you know but the forms are mostly people who like Apple and Apple products. I guess you could hang around here if you hate Apple and hate their products but that just seems like a waste of your time but hey it’s your time ?‍♂️
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
steve09090 Avatar
9 months ago
Apple faces criticism on privacy where warranted and makes changes when necessary. Because of their privacy rules, no individual was harmed. Good Decision.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Realityck Avatar
9 months ago
I am glad this went nowhere.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
xander49x Avatar
9 months ago
when you set up your device you chose to let apple use analyses or not to use. if you have a problem then stop using apple products, for one I will keep using apple as they are the most secure products on the market.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
LeadingHeat Avatar
9 months ago
You know how when you hit the “I agree” button when it asks if you want to improve Siri? That’s when your anonymous recordings get sent in, for analysis. Why is this an issue? Of course someone’s going to listen if you allow that. [I] [/I]
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Related Stories

siri remote 2

Hands-On With the Redesigned Apple TV 4K Siri Remote

Monday May 24, 2021 12:20 pm PDT by
Apple alongside the second-generation Apple TV 4K debuted a redesigned version of the Siri Remote, which is now available to customers with new Apple TV orders and as a $60 standalone replacement for the original Siri Remote. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. We picked up the updated Siri Remote to see if it's worth picking up if you have an original Apple TV 4K or...
find my siri remote

Siri Response Suggests Find My Support Might Come to New Siri Remote

Thursday April 29, 2021 12:27 pm PDT by
Apple has made no mention of Find My integration for the Siri Remote designed for the second-generation Apple TV 4K, but Siri responses to certain requests about the remote suggest that Apple could perhaps have such a feature in the works, or at the least, might have considered adding it. If you ask Siri to "Find my Siri remote," "Find my Apple TV remote," or even just "Find my remote," Siri ...
app store blue banner uk

UK Class Action Accuses Apple of Breaking Competition Law by Overcharging for Apps

Tuesday May 11, 2021 12:54 am PDT by
A new legal case filed with the U.K.'s Competition Appeal Tribunal has accused Apple of breaching competition law by overcharging nearly 20 million customers for App Store purchases. The collective action case alleges Apple's 30% commission on app sales and consumers' forced use of its own payment processing system generates "unlawfully excessive levels of profit," and calls for the company...
Google Chrome Material Icon 450x450

Judge Rules Google Must Face Lawsuit Alleging Chrome Tracks Users in Incognito Mode

Sunday March 14, 2021 6:19 am PDT by
A judge in California has ruled that Google must face a class action lawsuit alleging that it secretly tracks the online activity of Chrome users even when they're using the browser in its privacy-oriented Incognito mode (via Bloomberg). The lawsuit was filed in June by three plaintiffs alleging that Google hoovers up user data through Google Analytics, Google Ad Manager and other applications ...
shortcuts action take screenshot

Apple Shortcuts With Multiple Actions Reportedly Run Faster in iOS 14.6

Wednesday May 26, 2021 1:35 am PDT by
Apple appears to have quietly given its Shortcuts feature a performance boost in iOS 14.6 and iPadOS 14.6, which launched for iPhone and iPad on Monday. Despite no mention of the feature in the software's release notes, users on Reddit are describing speed improvements when running automations that include multiple actions. For example, one user describes how a 700-action shortcut they...
iPhone slow

Apple Shells Out $3.4 Million to Chileans to Settle Planned Obsolescence Lawsuit

Thursday April 8, 2021 1:25 pm PDT by
Apple will pay $3.4 million in Chile to settle a lawsuit that accused the Cupertino company of programming a limited lifespan into some of its products to force consumers to upgrade. 150,000 iPhone 6, 6 Plus, 6s Plus, 7, 7 Plus, and SE owners sued Apple over the same "iPhone Slowdown" issue that Apple has been battling since 2017. Registered participants in Chile can get a maximum of $50. ...
app store review scam

App Store Scam App Required a Good Review to Function at All

Wednesday May 26, 2021 7:21 am PDT by
An app that demanded at least a three-star review to function got through the App Store review process, it has been found (via The Verge). iOS developer Kosta Eleftheriou discovered that the "UPNP Xtreme" app, which claimed to let users stream video to a TV, presented the system's App Store rating box as soon as it opened. The rating box could not be escaped from and it was not possible to...
mercedes mbux apple music

Apple Music Coming to Mercedes-Benz MBUX Infotainment System

Friday June 4, 2021 4:06 am PDT by
Mercedes-Benz has announced that Apple Music integration is coming to its MBUX infotainment system, starting with C-Class, S-Class, and EQS models. Apple Music will integrate directly into Mercedes-Benz's MBUX infotainment system. Users simply need to link their online "Mercedes me" account to their vehicle, and then Apple Music subscribers will have access to its full library of more than...
wwdc 2021 live coverage

WWDC 2021 Apple Event Live Keynote Coverage: iOS 15, macOS 12, and More

Monday June 7, 2021 9:02 am PDT by
Apple's all-online Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) starts today with the traditional keynote kicking things off at 10:00 a.m. Pacific Time. We're expecting to see a number of announcements, including iOS 15, macOS 12, watchOS 8, and tvOS 15, but it's unclear what else we'll be seeing at the event. While there had been some claims of redesigned MacBook Pro models making an appearance...
generic tracking prompt blue

Apps Continuing to Track Users Despite Apple's Privacy Prompt

Monday June 7, 2021 8:04 am PDT by
Apple is facing increasing pressure to tighten its App Tracking Transparency rules after it was found that third parties are using workarounds to identify users who do not consent to be tracked, according to the Financial Times. Apple rules around App Tracking Transparency, which came into effect as part of iOS 14.5 and iPadOS 14.5, require apps to ask for consent to track users across...