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A Northern California judge today dismissed a class action lawsuit that accused Apple of the "unlawful and intentional" recording of confidential Siri communications without user consent.

hey-siri.jpg

The class action lawsuit was first filed in August 2019 after it became known that Apple had employed contractors to listen to and grade some anonymized Siri conversations for product improvement purposes.

Those contractors told The Guardian that they overheard confidential medical details, drug deals, and other private information from accidental Siri activations, and some expressed concern that users were not adequately informed about the recordings.

As noted by Bloomberg, U.S. District Judge Jeffrey White said that the plaintiffs in the class action case did not provide enough detail about the alleged recordings that Apple collected. The plaintiffs are required to prove that they have suffered injury from Apple's actions in a "concrete and particularized" way that's not "conjectural or hypothetical."

All of the allegations in the lawsuit were based on information that was included in the original story from The Guardian highlighting Apple's use of contractors to analyze Siri data, with the plaintiffs providing no proof that their own private data was accidentally collected by Apple and misused.
The Guardian article does not plausibly suggest that all Apple's devices were subject to accidental triggers and review by third party contractors, much less that such interception always occurred in reasonably private settings. The article discusses frequency of accidental triggers primarily in relation to the Apple Watch and the HomePod speakers, neither of which are owned by the Plaintiffs.

Moreover, the article expressly states that only a "small portion" of daily Siri activations including were sent to contractors and that they included both deliberate and accidental activations. Finally, although the article describes private communications among the recordings sent to contractors, Plaintiffs allege no facts to suggest that their own private communications were intercepted by accidental triggers.
Though Apple's motion to dismiss the lawsuit was granted, the judge in the case is allowing the consumers involved in the lawsuit to revise and refile within 20 days, so Apple is not in the clear as of yet.

Following the class action lawsuit and other negative public feedback, Apple temporarily suspended and overhauled its Siri evaluation program, and in iOS 13.2, added an option to let users delete Siri history and opt out of sharing audio recordings.

Article Link: Lawsuit Accusing Apple of Recording of Confidential Siri Requests Without User Consent Dismissed
 

rictus007

macrumors 6502
Oct 12, 2011
347
835
They are unable to prove the damage that they received? Any lawyer here? I don’t thing Apple did something wrong anyways, is pretty obvious that this devices activate accidentally.
 
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steve09090

macrumors 6502
Aug 12, 2008
288
702
I hope they fix the lawsuit and get this going.
Why? Because they are a trillion dollar company who should hand over their $’s to Lawyers and Fools?
  • Apple. Using anonymous voices to check for accuracy, versus
  • 'Other' companies: Use your actual conversations, attached to your data for targeted advertising who tell you they are using your recordings for accuracy (of advertising).
 

hot-gril

macrumors 68000
Jul 11, 2020
1,869
1,929
Northern California, USA
The linked article says
Apple has not made its human-based ‌Siri‌ analysis a secret, but its extensive privacy terms don't appear to explicitly state that ‌Siri‌ information is listened to by humans.
And looking at the privacy page the article links later, Apple still doesn't point this out. So I don't know about this lawsuit since it seems they didn't do it right, but I hope one of them succeeds. I don't care how Apple wants to use its customers' data, they just have to disclose it, even if the agreement is "any way we want."

This offense isn't unique to Apple; Amazon and Google do it too IIRC. All the more reason to start teaching lessons.
 
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hot-gril

macrumors 68000
Jul 11, 2020
1,869
1,929
Northern California, USA
Why? Because they are a trillion dollar company who should hand over their $’s to Lawyers and Fools?
  • Apple. Using anonymous voices to check for accuracy, versus
  • 'Other' companies: Use your actual conversations, attached to your data for targeted advertising who tell you they are using your recordings for accuracy (of advertising).
Apple should tell the users that humans are listening to a small subset of their conversations for product improvement purposes, and they don't tell the users, that's why. I don't care what the "other" companies are doing.
 
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hot-gril

macrumors 68000
Jul 11, 2020
1,869
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when you set up your device you chose to let apple use analyses or not to use. if you have a problem then stop using apple products, for one I will keep using apple as they are the most secure products on the market.
Ok, so...
1. Apple asks the user, setting up the device, whether they accept Siri's terms
2. User is so bored that he actually reads the terms, which don't say anything about humans listening to their conversations, and accepts
3. Apple does it anyway
 
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LeadingHeat

macrumors 6502a
Oct 3, 2015
751
1,833
You know how when you hit the “I agree” button when it asks if you want to improve Siri? That’s when your anonymous recordings get sent in, for analysis. Why is this an issue? Of course someone’s going to listen if you allow that.
 

russell_314

macrumors 68030
Feb 10, 2019
2,621
3,304
USA
The only people that win on these lawsuits are the lawyers. Even if Apple were to lose the “victims” would get like five dollars each and the lawyers would get millions. To top it off it’s customers to buy Apple products that pay for everything. They’re not sticking it to the man or Apple in this case but rather sticking it to the consumer who has to pay more for a product because of this 🤦‍♂️
 

CubeHacker

macrumors 65816
Apr 22, 2003
1,206
169
You know how when you hit the “I agree” button when it asks if you want to improve Siri? That’s when your anonymous recordings get sent in, for analysis. Why is this an issue? Of course someone’s going to listen if you allow that.
How is this any different than when someone clicks "I agree" to the terms of service when making a Facebook account? Or a google account? Everyone now is up in arms over how Facebook is harvesting user data behind the scenes, even though they agreed to it. But when Apple does it, its suddenly ok?
 

russell_314

macrumors 68030
Feb 10, 2019
2,621
3,304
USA
How is this any different than when someone clicks "I agree" to the terms of service when making a Facebook account? Or a google account? Everyone now is up in arms over how Facebook is harvesting user data behind the scenes, even though they agreed to it. But when Apple does it, its suddenly ok?
There’s a difference because Facebook is selling the data for advertising. Apple is using the data to make Siri work better. Of course I’m of the opinion if you’re giving Facebook permission to use your data then it’s okay. Why would it not be okay? If I want you to have my data I should be able to do that.
 
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rafark

macrumors 65816
Sep 1, 2017
1,448
2,195
How is this any different than when someone clicks "I agree" to the terms of service when making a Facebook account? Or a google account? Everyone now is up in arms over how Facebook is harvesting user data behind the scenes, even though they agreed to it. But when Apple does it, its suddenly ok?
Apple can never do wrong according to the macrumors forums.
 
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CubeHacker

macrumors 65816
Apr 22, 2003
1,206
169
There’s a difference because Facebook is selling the data for advertising. Apple is using the data to make Siri work better. Of course I’m of the opinion if you’re giving Facebook permission to use your data then it’s okay. Why would it not be okay? If I want you to have my data I should be able to do that.
Yes, the end use of this data is different. One is a product that cost money (siri only comes with a product like an iphone that you need to purchase), and the other is a free product that generates money through user interaction. However, everyone must "Agree" to the facebook terms of service in order to use the service - whether you bother to read it or not. Yet, everyone on these forums is all for iOS devices blocking advertisement tracking in the name of "privacy". And yet, when Apple violates that same privacy, its suddenly ok?
 
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russell_314

macrumors 68030
Feb 10, 2019
2,621
3,304
USA
Yes, the end use of this data is different. One is a product that cost money (siri only comes with a product like an iphone that you need to purchase), and the other is a free product that generates money through user interaction. However, everyone must "Agree" to the facebook terms of service in order to use the service - whether you bother to read it or not. Yet, everyone on these forums is all for iOS devices blocking advertisement tracking in the name of "privacy". And yet, when Apple violates that same privacy, its suddenly ok?
I don’t know if you actually read the article but it’s all about accidentally activating Siri therefore invasion of privacy. There was no violation of privacy and the court agreed to this.
 
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Alan Wynn

macrumors 68000
Sep 13, 2017
1,875
1,930
The linked article says

And looking at the privacy page the article links later, Apple still doesn't point this out. So I don't know about this lawsuit since it seems they didn't do it right, but I hope one of them succeeds. I don't care how Apple wants to use its customers' data, they just have to disclose it, even if the agreement is "any way we want."

This offense isn't unique to Apple; Amazon and Google do it too IIRC. All the more reason to start teaching lessons.
Allowing your speech to be used is now opt-in, and it is explained on the opt-in page, as I recall.
 

Alan Wynn

macrumors 68000
Sep 13, 2017
1,875
1,930
How is this any different than when someone clicks "I agree" to the terms of service when making a Facebook account? Or a google account? Everyone now is up in arms over how Facebook is harvesting user data behind the scenes, even though they agreed to it. But when Apple does it, its suddenly ok?
Facebook has every right to harvest as much of your information as it can. I just want in disclosed in the apps.
 
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