Apple Can't Get Out of Siri Privacy Lawsuit, Says Judge

Apple will not be able to avoid a proposed class action lawsuit covering Siri privacy claims, reports Reuters. The suit in question, which was initially filed in 2019, accuses Apple's voice assistant ‌Siri‌ of violating user privacy.

siri glow
The plaintiffs involved in the case can try to prove that ‌Siri‌ routinely recorded private conversations due to accidental activations, and that Apple disclosed those conversations to third parties such as advertisers, said the judge.

One user in the lawsuit claimed that his private discussions with his doctor about a "brand name surgical treatment" caused him to receive targeted ads for that treatment, while others said that their discussions about Air Jordan sneakers, Pit Viper sunglasses, and Olive Garden resulted in targeted ads.

That is not how ‌Siri‌ works and there has been no evidence that Apple has ever provided ‌Siri‌ recordings to advertisers. People have long accused social networks of listening in on their conversations and using those discussions for ad purposes, but this has never been proven.

Though it may be difficult for the plaintiffs to prove that Apple is providing ‌Siri‌ recordings to advertisers, Apple found itself embroiled in a Siri-related scandal in 2019 after it was revealed that Apple had contractors listening to Siri recordings where they heard private conversations involving drug deals, medical info, and more after ‌Siri‌ was accidentally activated.

Human-based ‌Siri‌ analysis was never a secret, but at the time, Apple's privacy terms did not make it clear that people could potentially hear conversations that were recorded via ‌Siri‌. Apple temporarily suspended its ‌Siri‌ evaluation program and then ultimately implemented options to delete ‌Siri‌ recordings and to block them from being listened to. Apple also stopped using contractors.

Apple in iOS 15 has gone even further with ‌Siri‌ privacy and many ‌Siri‌ requests will now be handled entirely on device, so ‌Siri‌ content is not uploaded to Apple's servers for processing.

The plaintiffs in the lawsuit are permitted to pursue claims that Apple violated the federal Wiretap Act and California privacy law, in addition to breach of contract. The lawsuit has requested $5,000 per violation from Apple.

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Top Rated Comments

AngerDanger Avatar
36 months ago
"What happens on iPhone stays on iPhone"…



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Score: 47 Votes (Like | Disagree)
zakarhino Avatar
36 months ago

Apple is going to have it rough the next years now all the big boys are out to get them.

Weird how suddenly everybody stopped talking about CSAM though. Seems people got tired of complaining about it lol
People haven't stopped talking about it. The threads on MacRumors are still very active. The Apple subreddit has a daily mega thread to discuss it. Security experts are still writing articles about it. People are still signing petitions.

The only person that stopped talking about it is Apple. They know they're powerful enough to simply ignore customers' complaints. They know they've set up their ecosystem to be a take it or leave it deal and hardly anyone can go through the trouble of leaving an ecosystem they've invested so much time and money into. It's covert extortion and it's what happens when entities become too powerful to answer to the people they serve, be it the relationship between government and people or customer and cartel business.
Score: 28 Votes (Like | Disagree)
zakarhino Avatar
36 months ago
Good. Now queue the usual tirade of Apple apologists explaining that Apple getting out of this lawsuit would actually be a good thing.
Score: 15 Votes (Like | Disagree)
now i see it Avatar
36 months ago
does anyone know of any company anywhere that gets sued more than Apple?
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Wildkraut Avatar
36 months ago

But Timmey would never do that, he got Apple to the top by being transparent!
How was the headline recently? Steve would been proud of Tim, Bwahahaha.
He would have said "Get Over Here!", and spit fire on Tim.

Steve Wins, Flawless Victory. FATALITY!
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
TheYayAreaLiving ?️ Avatar
36 months ago
Stop playing around with user's privacy Apple. Just leave it alone, please.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)