Unimpressed with the new Golden State Warriors roster? Shh … don’t say it out loud. The team may be listening.
A lawsuit filed in federal court in San Francisco this week claims the team’s free app secretly uses the microphones on fans’ smartphones to listen to and record their conversations. The app, which lets fans view live scores and share posts from Warriors games on social media, asks for permission to access fans’ microphones, but doesn’t disclose the extent that it listens in, according to the suit, which was reported by The Recorder on Tuesday.
“Even more disconcerting,” the lawyers wrote, “the app turns on the microphone (listening and recording) any time the app is running. No mater if a consumer is actively using the app or if it is merely running in the background: the app is listening.”
That means if a fan is using the app and then navigates away by pressing the phone’s home button, without “hard closing” the app, the app continues to listen.
The suit names the Warriors, New York-based Signal360 (which licenses the technology at issue) and Pennsylvania-based Yinzcam (which developed the app) as defendants.
The lawyers claim the Warriors app employs new “beacon” technology, which allows it to track where its users are. Beacons placed throughout an area send out certain audio signals, which are picked up by a smartphone’s microphone and used to pinpoint the phone’s location. That information is used to send customers targeted adds or to glean information about their shopping behaviors.
The lawyers estimate the Warriors app has been downloaded hundreds of thousands of times.
In an emailed statement, Lauren Cooley, chief operating officer at Signal360, denied the allegations.
“We have been made aware of the suit and it appears there is a misunderstanding about how our technology works,” she wrote. “Our technology does not intercept, store, transmit, or otherwise use any oral content for marketing purposes or for any other purpose.”
A Warriors spokesman declined to comment on the suit, saying the organization doesn’t comment on pending litigation.
SiliconBeat has reached out to Yinzcam and will update this post if the company responds.
Photo: Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry (30) walks onto the court after the Warriors won their 73rd game and the NBA all-time winning record against the Memphis Grizzlies at Oracle Arena in April 13, 2016. (Doug Duran/Bay Area News Group)