A recent lawsuit alleges that the virtual assistants of tech companies like Apple and Google are listening in on users even when they’re not supposed to.
The Washington Post reports that this week, a judge ruled that Apple will have to fight a lawsuit brought by users in federal court in California which alleges that Apple’s voice assistant Siri is improperly recording users’ conversations. The judge ruled that the lawsuit could continue despite Apple’s attempts to have it thrown out.
Judge Jeffrey S. White of the federal district court in Oakland, did dismiss one element of the lawsuit which involved users’ economic harm. But he finally ruled that the plaintiffs could continue pursuing allegations that Siri activated without prompting and records user conversations that it shouldn’t have, passing that data on to third parties and violating user privacy.
This case, which aims to gain class-action status, is just one of many brought against Google, Apple, and Amazon over the companies’ voice assistants. So far the tech giants have denied that their voice assistants are spying on conversations and only listen in for “wake words” and to receive commands. An Amazon spokesperson said in a statement that Amazon only stores user audio when a wake word is used and even then only a “small fraction” of user audio is manually reviewed.
A similar suit to the one recently filed against Apple has been taken against Google and is going through the federal court system in California. It’s estimated that 128 million people in the United States use a voice assistant on a monthly basis, according to eMarketer, meaning that potential privacy issues could cause major complications for tech giants.
Breitbart News has previously reported extensively on privacy issues relating to Amazon’s Alexa and the amount of voice data recorded by the devices.
Read more about the latest lawsuit against Apple at the Washington Post here.