Last summer, a proposed class action was filed in a California federal court against Alphabet, Inc., the parent company of Google, alleging that the accidental recording of conversations by Google Assistant violates various state and federal privacy and wiretap laws. The voice activated device is intended only to record a conversation when a ‘hotword” such as “Hey Google” or “OK Google” is spoken. The plaintiffs allege that Google Assistant also recorded conversations after being accidentally activated.
Google recently filed a motion to dismiss each count of the lawsuit, arguing that the recording by the voice activated device was not intentional, as required by wiretap laws. Google also argued that accidental recording is not unexpected – “Plaintiffs knew that a function of the Assistant is to respond to voice-activated queries, so it is reasonable to expect that it may activate in error.”
The court has yet to rule on Google’s motion.
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