Lawsuits say Siri, Google are listening even when they’re not supposed to be

Siri, Alexa, and Google are accused of recording users’ private conversations without their agreement.

On Thursday, Judge Jeffrey S. White of the federal district court in Oakland ruled that Apple will have to continue fighting a lawsuit alleging that Siri has improperly recorded private conversations of users without their consent. According to the people who filed the suit, the company’s voice assistant collected personal data and passed it to third parties, violating user privacy.

The judge said that most of the lawsuit could move forward, despite Apple’s request to have it thrown out. Judge Jeffrey S. White, of federal district court in Oakland, did dismiss one piece involving users’ economic harm. But he ruled that the plaintiffs, who are trying to make the suit a class action case, could continue pursuing claims that Siri turned on unprompted and recorded conversations that it shouldn’t have and passed the data along to third parties, therefore violating user privacy.

Nicole Ozer, director of technology and civil liberties at the California ACLU, said the lawsuits were a sign that people were realizing the amount of information being collected by voice technology. “I think this lawsuit is part of people finally starting to realize that Siri doesn’t work for us, it works for Apple,” she said.

An Amazon spokesperson told the Post that only a “small fraction” of the audio is reviewed manually and that users can unsubscribe from these notices or manage their registrations. Apple told the Post it didn’t sale its Siri recordings, and that its recordings are not associated with an “identifiable individual.”

Google has also claimed that they don’t keep audio recordings by default “and make it easier to manage your privacy preferences.” Apple has already provided court filings to back its claims, and Google too, is ready to fight the case in court.



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Jennifer is a CEO, executive producer, host of "Politics in skirts," and a former correspondent for Fox News. She is a lawyer, journalist, and TV and radio host.

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