back to article NBA's Golden State Warriors sued for 'mic snooping' mobile app

The Golden State Warriors have been sued by a bunch of fans who claim the basketball team's mobile app is eavesdropping on them. The suit [PDF], filed with the Northern California District Court this week, alleges that the Android and iOS versions of the Golden State Warriors App can track and record audio from the handset's …

  1. Mark 85 Silver badge

    Doesn't this seem to apply to any mobile app of late? They all ask for these permissions and never tell you why or what they really do. Maybe every app needs a class-action suit against it? Or the app store needs one?

  2. Herby
    Joke

    Idea for new app...

    One that sues YOU if you install it. It would make lawyers RICH!!

  3. I Like Heckling Silver badge

    Answer Is Simple

    1: Don't install apps that are so cavalier with peoples privacy.

    2: Deny app permissions on a per app basis.

    Unless you don't have a phone OS that's capable of allowing you to do that... in which case see point 1 again.

    I do both 1 & 2 as I'm not a gullible little sheep that must have every single trendy app out there and blindly accept all T&C because they wouldn't abuse my private information... it's an app... what harm could it do.

    Nope... I actually take my privacy seriously.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Answer Is Simple

      Have an upvote.

      I used to have the official NHL app for "my" team. Very handy to get score updates when away from TV or radio. Handy to lookup the team schedule. Then late last season, the app refused to run unless it was updated. It decided that it needed access to my SD card, my camera, my microphone, my call history, etc. Basically lit the Christmas tree of options. Sorry guys, uninstall.

      Sure, I could muck about with trying to limit the permissions. I know it's possible on Android, but you know what? I don't want to waste time figuring it out, it's just easier to uninstall your app.

      1. Joe Drunk

        Re: Answer Is Simple

        I used to have the official NHL app for "my" team. Very handy to get score updates when away from TV or radio. Handy to lookup the team schedule. Then late last season, the app refused to run unless it was updated. It decided that it needed access to my SD card, my camera, my microphone, my call history, etc. Basically lit the Christmas tree of options. Sorry guys, uninstall.

        I really am disgusted by the excessive permissions required by the most basic of apps. I have the been running the same apps on my phone for years with only the permissions I deem are necessary for them to function and am loathe to update them unless they flat out stop working. You really need to have the same attitude for your phone as you have for your PC - you have all the base apps you need that you use regularly. You shouldn't install any new ones unless absolutely necessary and from reputable sources.

        Like you, I used to have the ESPN app for sports scores, news, schedules, etc. until it stopped working due to a mandatory update. The update required permissions to my contacts, microphone, camera and other excessive permissions. Bye bye ESPN app, hello ESPN mobile website.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Answer Is Simple

      "Don't install apps that are so cavalier with peoples privacy."

      This is exactly the point. How do you know apps are cavalier with people's privacy?

      I am trying to find a decent android email client, because y'know work.

      I installed one, had a few issues with it that made me install a packet sniffer. It was directing all mail through it's own servers. Googling this showed other people had found that too.

      Do we all need to either ignore modern technology and refuse all apps or is some basic pen testing required by ordinary users.

      Its easy to say "Don't install bad apps" & "deny permissions" but both of those can be true and you still get apps over stepping the mark.

      1. VinceH

        Re: Answer Is Simple

        "I am trying to find a decent android email client, because y'know work."

        I tried quite a few and found them all to be rubbish until (a year ago, maybe?) someone on these forums suggested K9 Mail - and I've been using it ever since.

    3. Chris King

      Re: Answer Is Simple

      Or 3. Get a Windows Phone. What are these "apps" of which you speak ?

      1. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken

        Re: Answer Is Simple

        What is this "Windows Phone" you speak of?

        1. Sir Runcible Spoon

          Re: Answer Is Simple

          I use an app called NoRoot Firewall on my Samsung phone and whatever permissions an apps gets or manages to finagle, I can use the rulebase in the firewall to stop everything in it's tracks. It's amazing what the most simple apps will try and do if you let them!

  4. John Gamble

    Also the Lazines Factor

    There's also a laziness factor here, both by developers and users.

    I've noticed a lot of basic apps (for a typical example, displaying the periodic table) go along with their minor updates with no problem, but then suddenly required e-mail, text message, and camera permissions, which a basic reference app shouldn't require.

    It could be evil-doings I suppose, but in my opinion it's more likely (since it happened across many apps at about the same time) that developers changed or upgraded their development platforms, and never bothered to change the default-all permissions of the platform when they ported their code.

    I uninstalled a lot of apps at the time1.

    The other side of the laziness coin are the users of course, who have been using these apps without incident for so long that answering "yes" to the special permissions requests must seem like a natural progression.

    ---

    1. Except for one that had managed to install itself as a system app -- I do attribute that to evil on their part, and will have nothing ever to do with them.

    1. A Non e-mouse Silver badge

      Re: Also the Lazines Factor

      There have been articles which describe how some companies buy popular apps from their authors. Then, in the next update, the app is riddled with ads, etc. It could be that your apps are been bought by malvertisers.

  5. Stratman

    Useful rule of thumb

    If you're not paying for the product, you are the product

  6. Graham Marsden
    Devil

    What's next...?

    "It sounds like you're having sex. We would like to recommend the following pizza delivery companies..."

    1. Stratman

      Re: What's next...?

      A twelve inch with cheesy crust?

  7. Crazy Operations Guy

    Built-in apps do this as well

    Received a company phone form work a month ago and first thing I did was to start denying as many permissions as possible. Like how the "Samsung Pay" app seems to want access to my Camera, Contacts, Location, Phone, SMS, and Storage. Or how the "Setup and Transfer App" keeps wanting access to all of that despite the fact that the App would only be run twice, at most, during the life of the phone.

    Can't remove these apps, can only deny certain permissions...

    Of course greedy apps are also why I have a Galaxy S7 with only the Delta Airlines app, the Uber App, my company's Timesheet app and, my company's Travel booking app installed and only the e-mail app configured. Everything else is disabled and/or has had all its permissions denied. Haven't installed any games or any other apps because they all seem to require permissions I am not comfortable (Why would a Tetris-like clone require access to my contact list anyway?). An 8-core processor being wasted on displaying email, showing a static image of a QR code, or a car icon moving across a map...

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