Warriors Press Judge To Toss Eavesdropping Case

The basketball team Golden State Warriors is asking a federal judge to slam the courthouse door shut on an app user who says the team's mobile app eavesdropped on her.

New York resident LaTisha Satchell's allegations "consist mostly of atmospherics with no substance," the Warriors argue in papers filed this week with U.S. District Court Judge Jeffrey White in Oakland, Calif.

Earlier this year, White dismissed a prior version of the lawsuit, but did so without prejudice -- meaning that Satchell could revise her allegations and try again. Lawyers for Satchell subsequently filed an amended version of the complaint, which alleges that the Warriors, app developer YinzCam and beacon technology company Signal360 violated wiretap laws by intercepting communications.

The app sends offers to fans when they pass concession stands, and notifies users about the possibility of seat upgrades at the team's home stadium in Oakland.  To accomplish this, the app tracks users' physical locations via beacons, which transmit audio signals that are picked up by phones' microphones, according to Satchell's complaint.

She alleged that the app turns on devices' microphones, and then records conversations and other audio whenever it's running -- even if people aren't actively using the app. Satchell, who said she used the app from April through July of 2016, argued that the Warriors, YinzCam and Signal360 illegally intercepted and used her private conversations without consent.

White ruled in February that Satchell's complaint didn't support a wiretapping claim, writing that she didn't allege the kinds of facts that would prove her conversations were "intercepted" or "used" by the companies.

White added that Satchell's original complaint didn't offer specifics about any private conversations that may have been intercepted. She also didn't detail how the Warriors, YinzCam or Signal360 used any conversations they allegedly captured, White wrote.

Satchell last month amended her complaint by adding new details, including examples of conversations she says were recorded.

"On April 21, 2016, Plaintiff was in her bedroom with her husband, had her phone with her, and engaged in nightly marital conversations," the new complaint states. "On July 1, 2016, Plaintiff was at a local bank meeting with a banker, had her phone with her, and discussed private financial matters."

The new complaint also alleges that the Warriors helped to design the app in a way that would "turn users’ smartphones into listening devices."

But the Warriors say in their most recent court papers that these allegations still don't warrant further proceedings. The team notes that the complaint describes private conversations, but doesn't allege that anyone else "ever learned anything about the contents of that conversation."

The team also says that allegations about designing devices that can violate people's privacy aren't enough to support wiretapping lawsuits.

"Rather than alleging any actual interception of her communications, Plaintiff relies solely on allegations that defendants designed the beacon technology that she says temporarily recorded and analyzed audio data on her phone," the Warriors write. "These 'design' allegations cannot support a claim of an 'interception' as a matter of law."

The Warriors are now asking White to dismiss the lawsuit with prejudice -- which would preclude Satchell from pursuing the matter.

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