The official Android app for the NBA’s Golden State Warriors continuously listens in on users’ private conversations without permission, according to a federal lawsuit that alleges the practice is a violation of privacy statutes.
The 15-page complaint filed in San Francisco federal court said the monitoring was part of beaconing technology integrated into the Golden State Warriors app. The beaconing is used to track users’ precise locations so the app can provide content that’s tailored to that locale. The app “listens to and records all audio within range” of a user’s microphone, and when the app detects a unique audio signal, it is able to determine the user is in close proximity to a specific location associated with the signal. The beaconing technology, the complaint alleged, is provided by a Signal360, a developer of proximity-related products.
The lawsuit names the Golden State Warriors, Signal360, and app developer Yinzcam as defendants. It was filed on behalf of New York state resident Latisha Satchell, and the lawsuit seeks class action status so that other smartphone users who installed apps with similar behavior may also seek damages. It was filed on Monday, and its docket currently shows no hearings are yet scheduled on the matter.
“Unbeknownst to plaintiff and without her consent, defendants programmed the app to turn on her smartphone’s microphone and listen-in,” the complaint alleges. “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.”
The app, which at time of writing had from 500,000 to 1 million downloads, requires users to opt …