A few days ago, we notified that companies hired by Apple were listening to private conversations from users with Crab (short voice clips) to improve your speech recognition system. The problem is that, according to the information given, the content of these recordings was far from being harmless or disposable.
Shortly thereafter, Apple said it was «committed to protecting user privacy» and that, while carrying out a thorough review of things, it suspended the analysis of these audios. In addition, as part of a future software update, the company said that users will be able to choose whether or not to participate in this analysis program.
Of course, these actions would not be enough to calm the spirits of others; the proof of this is that a collective action (people who come together for the same purpose to sue a particular company) in the Federal Court in Northern California, in which the authors accuse Apple of “illegal and intentional registration of confidential communications of individuals without their consent”.
The lawsuit alleges that Apple violated several laws, such as the California Privacy Invasion Act, the Unfair Competition Act, the Consumer Legal Appeals Act and the Declaratory Judgment Act.
According to the complainants, Apple’s terms and conditions make no reference to the fact that their recordings would be saved and listened to by employees. They also say that anyone who has a device equipped with a social worker was exposed – also emphasizing Siri’s interactions that can be recorded even due to accidental activations (when she thinks you said “Hey, Siri” ).
The plaintiffs ask $ 5,000 for each of the violations (as a form of indemnity), that Apple pay all expenses with lawyers, that the company stops making such recordings and that all those already made are properly erased.
For interested parties, the collective action file can be accessed here [PDF].