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Lawsuit calls foul on Golden State Warriors' app

Lawsuit claims the NBA team's app secretly uses smartphones' microphone to listen in and record users' conversations.

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The Golden State Warriors play against the Atlanta Hawks in Oracle Arena.

James Martin/CNET

A lawsuit is accusing the Golden State Warriors of a real-life technical foul, claiming the NBA team's free app secretly uses smartphones' microphones to listen in and record user conversations.

The app, which delivers up-to-date scores, schedules and news, asks for permission to access the microphone on users' phones. But, according to a lawsuit filed Monday in San Francisco federal court, it doesn't disclose the extent to which it listens in.

"Even more disconcerting, the app turns on the microphone (listening and recording) any time the app is running," the filing reads. "No matter if a consumer is actively using the app or if it is merely running in the background: the app is listening."

If true, the allegations would violate the Electronic Communications Privacy Act, which prohibits the "interception and disclosure of wire, oral, or electronic communications." The lawsuit, which seeks class action status, seeks statutory damages equal to "the sum of actual damages suffered plus any profits defendants earned through its unlawful conduct."

The Warriors did not immediately respond to requests for comment, nor did fellow defendant Yinzcam, the app's Pennsylvania-based developer.

Signal360, which licenses the technology and was also named as a defendant, denied that there was anything malicious occurring in the app.

"There is a clear misunderstanding about how our technology works," Lauren Cooley, Signal360's chief operating officer, said in a statement. "Our technology does not intercept, store, transmit, or otherwise use any oral content for any purpose. We do not capture or store any conversations."