A lawsuit against Apple, claiming that its Siri voice assistant violates users’ privacy, will be allowed to proceed, although a federal judge has nixed part of it, Bloomberg reported.
U.S. District Judge Jeffrey White acknowledged that Siri has the capability to violate users’ privacy through “accidental activations,” in which the user doesn’t expect Siri to be listening or recording conversations, according to the report.
But White said the part of the suit alleging economic harm doesn’t hold water under the California Unfair Competition Law, the report stated. That claim was tossed because plaintiffs said they didn’t show they purchased Apple products strictly under the impression that their privacy would be protected.
This lawsuit was originally pitched back in February, and the judge threw it out originally, saying there wasn’t sufficient evidence of privacy violation, but he invited the plaintiffs to re-submit the case if they wanted. They did so, and White said as of Thursday (Sept. 2) that they had made sufficient claims this time, according to the report.
There have been other such lawsuits regarding voice assistant tech, including against the Google Assistant and Amazon and its Alexa assistant. The complaints have usually revolved around the idea that the devices are listening even when not manually activated by users. That has resulted in numerous utterances or intimate moments recorded unwittingly, the report stated.
In other legal news for the Big Tech companies, both Google and Amazon have faced proposed antitrust legislation.
U.S. lawmakers introduced bills to help cut down on the power the tech companies hold, including stopping a platform from discriminating against rivals through offering its own products; cutting down on big firms making acquisitions in order to stamp out rivals; banning dominant platforms from using power across multiple types of business; and making it easier for customers to move their data around to new providers.