A U.S. District Judge has tossed out a lawsuit claiming that Siri listens to and records user conversations without their consent. The suit alleged that Apple devices listen even when a user does not engage with Siri, resulting in a breach of privacy.
The class-action lawsuit was first filed in August 2019 after it had become public that the Cupertino tech giant had hired contractors to listen to and grade some anonymized Siri conversations for the purpose of improving products and services.
Judge tosses lawsuit claiming Siri recorded users without their consent
As reported by Bloomberg, U.S. District Judge Jeffrey White stated that the plaintiffs in the class-action case did not have enough facts to support the claims regarding the alleged recordings that the tech giant collected. The plaintiffs are obligated to prove that they have suffered damage from Apple’s actions in a “concrete and particularized” way that’s not “hypothetical.”
The lawsuit was filed following reports that human contractors reviewed private user communications in a quality assurance program meant to improve the accuracy of Siri responses.
“We know that customers have been concerned by recent reports of people listening to audio Siri recordings as part of our Siri quality evaluation process—which we call grading,” Apple said at the time. “We heard their concerns, immediately suspended human grading of Siri requests, and began a thorough review of our practices and policies. We’ve decided to make some changes to Siri as a result.”
Though the tech giant’s motion to get the lawsuit dismissed was granted, the judge in the case is allowing the consumers involved in the lawsuit to revise and refile within 20 days.
Following the backlash from the public, Apple temporarily suspended and improved its evaluation program. Additionally, with the release of iOS 13.2, Apple added an option to let users delete their voice assistant history and opt-out of sharing audio recordings.
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