Lawsuit claims Warriors app secretly records users’ conversations

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)

 

Tags: , , ,

 

More Posts in Silicon Beat

 
 

Share this Post



 
 
 
  • wildling

    so smart phone are now too smart ?

    • Socrates Descartes

      Yes, it’s only the ones who post in threads like this one who think they are….

  • Siliconcore

    I hope they get taken to the cleaners.

    • David Moore

      Not bloody likely.

  • Ron Armstrong

    D Russell app

  • David Moore

    Yeah, right, Steve Kerr really wants to hear what defensive set I think he should run. BS lawsuit.

  • NASAMan

    Ok, you caught us. We had Warrior fans sitting behind the opponent’s
    bench with their phones so we could listen in to the plays they were
    planning to run. But LeBron mumbles.

  • USN_RET

    A lot of double talk: “Our technology does not intercept, store, transmit, or otherwise use any oral content for marketing purposes or for any other purpose.” Note that they don’t flat out deny the accusation.

    Example: I listen to your call, and do a speech-to-text conversation. Then I store the text of your conversation. I can truthfully say I have not stored the oral content because now it is textual. In other words, the corporate statement can be translated to mean “Guilty as charged.”

    • Brought to you by the number D

      Love the 1984 reference

  • Fully70

    Oh, THAT’S SHOCKING! I mean, the idea that a device with a camera, microphone and a constant wireless connection to an invisible information network, worldwide web and national phone tower system might be able to be misused to interfere with a person’s privacy, I can’t IMAGINE such a thing! 😉

    • stephenreal

      Rick: How can you close me up? On what grounds?
      Captain Renault: I’m shocked, shocked to find that gambling is going on in here!
      [a croupier hands Renault a pile of money]
      Croupier: Your winnings, sir.
      Captain Renault: [sotto voce] Oh, thank you very much.
      [aloud]
      Captain Renault: Everybody out at once!

  • stephenreal

    Corporate snooping? Are they insane? Lawyer up Golden State Warriors. Someone’s going to pookie over stupid.

 
 
css.php