Apple Judge Rejects Suit Claiming Siri Serial Eavesdropping
An employee demonstrates the HomePod speaker on the first day of sales at an Apple Inc. store in New York, U.S. (Photographer: Mark Kauzlarich/Bloomberg)

Apple Judge Rejects Suit Claiming Siri Serial Eavesdropping

Apple Inc. won a ruling tossing out a consumer lawsuit alleging that its voice-activated software records conversations without user consent.

But Siri’s reprieve may be short-lived because U.S. District Judge Jeffrey White in Oakland, California, gave consumers permission to revise and refile the suit.

Consumers have brought similar complaints over Amazon.com Inc.’s Alexa and Google Assistant. The common complaint is that devices are listening even when users didn’t push a button or use a pre-set voice command to engage them, resulting in all manner of utterances and even intimate moments being captured in company databases.

White’s ruling in California follows a different judge’s May 6 dismissal of most claims in a lawsuit against Google because the plaintiffs didn’t provide enough details about the alleged recordings.

The lawsuit followed 2019 news media reports that Apple had intercepted and disclosed private conversations without user consent.

The plaintiffs had alleged violations of various state and federal statutes, including a U.S. wiretapping law that outlaws intentional interceptions of communications. White didn’t rule on the merits of the case. He said the plaintiffs had failed to advance enough facts to support their claims.

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