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Author Topic: Apple Facing Lawsuit for 'Unlawful and Intentional' Recording of Confidential Siri Requests Without User Consent  (Read 21 times)
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« on: August 11, 2019, 04:05:08 pm »

Apple Facing Lawsuit for 'Unlawful and Intentional' Recording of Confidential Siri Requests Without User Consent

Apple is facing a class action lawsuit [PDF] for employing contractors to listen to and grade some anonymized Siri conversations for the purpose of quality control and product improvement.





Apple's <!---->Siri<!----> practices were highlighted in a recent report where one of the contractors claimed that Apple employees evaluating <!---->Siri<!----> recordings often hear confidential medical information, drug deals, and other private information when <!---->Siri<!----> is activated accidentally.





<img src="" alt="" width="800" height="350" class="aligncenter size-large wp-image-597347" />


The lawsuit, filed in a Northern California court today (and shared by CNBC's Kif Leswing), accuses Apple of "unlawful and intentional recording of individuals' confidential communications without their consent," violating California privacy laws when accidental <!---->Siri<!----> activations are recorded and evaluated by humans.
<!---->Siri<!----> Devices are only supposed to record conversations preceded by the utterance of "Hey <!---->Siri<!---->" (a "wake phrase") or through a specific gesture, such as pressing the home button on a device for a specified amount of time. California law prohibits the recording of oral communications without the consent of all parties to the communication.





Individuals who have purchased or used <!---->Siri<!----> Devices and interacted with <!---->Siri<!----> have not consented to Apple recording conversations where "Hey <!---->Siri<!---->" was not uttered or where they did not otherwise perform a gesture intending to activate <!---->Siri<!---->, such as pressing and holding down the home button on a device for a certain period of time.
As outlined in its privacy policies, Apple collects some anonymized <!---->Siri<!----> recordings for the purpose of improving <!---->Siri<!----> and, presumably, cutting down on accidental <!---->Siri<!----> activations. These recordings are analyzed by humans and can include details recorded when <!---->Siri<!----> mishears a "Hey <!---->Siri<!---->" trigger word.





The lawsuit claims that Apple has not informed consumers that they are "regularly being recorded without consent," though it also highlights Apple's privacy policy where Apple does state that such data can be used for improving its services.





The plaintiffs in the case, one of whom is a minor, claim to own an iPhone XR and an iPhone 6 that they would not have purchased had they known that their <!---->Siri<!----> recordings were stored for evaluation. The plaintiffs are seeking class action status for all individuals who were recorded by a <!---->Siri<!----> device without their consent from October 12, 2011 to the present.





The lawsuit asks for Apple to obtain consent before recording a minor's <!---->Siri<!----> interactions, to delete all existing recordings, and to prevent unauthorized recordings in the future. It also asks for $5,000 in damages per violation.





Apple has suspended its Siri evaluation program right now as it reviews the processes that are in place in light of the contractor's claims. Prior to the suspension of the program, Apple said that a small, random subset (less than 1%) of daily <!---->Siri<!----> requests are analyzed for improving <!---->Siri<!----> and dictation, with requests not associated with a user's Apple ID.





Apple in the future plans to release a software update that will let <!---->Siri<!----> users opt out of having their <!---->Siri<!----> queries included in the evaluation process, something that's not possible at the current time. All collected <!---->Siri<!----> data can be cleared from an iOS device by turning <!---->Siri<!----> off and then on again, while accidental recordings can be stopped by disabling "Hey <!---->Siri<!---->."

<div class="linkback">Tag: Siri</div>
This article, &quot;Apple Facing Lawsuit for 'Unlawful and Intentional' Recording of Confidential Siri Requests Without User Consent&quot; first appeared on MacRumors.com

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Source: Apple Facing Lawsuit for 'Unlawful and Intentional' Recording of Confidential Siri Requests Without User Consent
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