The Golden State Warriors’ Android app might keep fans up to date regarding the NBA team, but it might have also been constantly listening to their conversations without them knowing about it, reports Ars Technica. This has prompted a lawsuit against the Warriors by a user of the app.
When you download the app, one of the permissions it asks for is described as “Microphone.” According to the lawsuit, which was filed in a San Francisco federal court by New York state resident Latisha Satchell, the app uses its beaconing and monitoring technology to abuse the permission by constantly listening to any nearby audio, even when the app is running in the background.
“Even more disconcerting, the app turns on the microphone (listening and recording) any time the app is running,” reads the complaint. “No matter if a consumer is actively using the app or if it is merely running in the background: the app is listening.”
Developed by Signal360, the Golden State Warriors app knows your precise location in order to custom-tailor what you see when you open the app. However, the lawsuit not only alleges that the app “listens to and records all audio within range” of the device’s microphone, but also that it does not properly disclose the integrated technologies.
“At no time do defendants disclose to consumers that the app uses beacon technology,” reads the complaint. “And, defendants have not disclosed that the Warriors’ app uses audio beacon technology that surreptitiously turns on consumers’ smartphone microphones and listens in.”
The only way to stop the app from behaving in this manner, according to the lawsuit, is to have it “hard close.”
The defendants in the lawsuit are the Golden State Warriors, Signal360, and Yinzcam, the latter of which is the app’s developer. Critically, the lawsuit is seeking class action status, which if granted would permit anyone who downloaded the Golden State Warriors app to seek damages. Furthermore, if Satchell wins her case, the victory has the potential of setting a precedent for similar cases in the future.