Thursday, September 1, 2016

Sports Smartphone App Accused of Eavesdropping

A putative class action suit filed in a California court on Monday against Oakland’s Golden State Warriors basketball team accuses the team of offering a smartphone app that secretly records the user’s conversations. 

The app, developed by Yinzcam Inc., uses the phone’s microphone to track the user’s location by picking up on sonic beacons built by Signal360, but fails to warn users that it is doing so and that it is picking up nearby conversations in the process, plaintiff Latisha Satchell said.

“Unbeknownst to plaintiff and without her consent, defendants programmed the app to turn on her smartphone’s microphone and listen in. Specifically, because plaintiff carried her smartphone to locations where she would have private conversations and the app was continuously running on her phone, defendants app listened in to private oral communications,” Satchell said.

According to the complaint, the app, which is advertised as a source of scores, game schedules, news, statistics and other information about the Warriors, uses the phone’s microphone to pick up sound tones generated by Signal360 beacons and uses those tones to track the user’s location in the Warrior’s stadium and send the user appropriate notifications and advertisements or track the user’s movements for later analysis. Satchell argued that the app also picks up and temporarily records other nearby sounds, including conversations. more