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Apple sued over Siri's advertising answers

Posted: , posted by Michael H.

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Apple sued over Siri's advertising answers
Siri is marketed as a personal assistant and an information machine. If you have a question, Siri is supposed to have the answer, and that answer is expected to be as accurate as possible. On the other hand, we've seen the high profile cases where Apple changed the answer, when it didn't like the results, most notably to the question "What is the best smartphone?" Originally, Siri gave the answer based on reviews found online, and returned the answer: the Nokia Lumia 900. Then, Apple changed the answer. 

Apple sued over Siri's advertising answers
Now, if you do a search for the best smartphone, tablet, or computer, you don't get a real answer based on real information found online. Instead, you get an "advertising" answer which points you towards more Apple products. We've seen before that Apple has been sued for "false advertising" over the Siri commercials, but now Apple is also being sued because of these sponsored answers (which are only answers sponsored by Apple). 

Sean DeVries is bringing the lawsuit against Apple, but he doesn't expect to really change the functionality of Siri. Sean is hoping to force Apple be more open about the fact that these answers have been modified, and definitely doesn't think that the lawsuit will make Apple change its ways and be information agnostic like Google. Sure, Google isn't perfect. If you search for "Maps", Google Maps will come up first, but if you search "best online maps" or "best smartphone os", you won't see Google links, but rather links to the actual information you're looking for. 

This is an interesting case. We kind of wish Sean had higher aims for the outcome, but we'll be watching to see what happens. The court date is set for October 9th. 

  • Options

posted on 19 Sep 2012, 15:14 40

1. networkdood (Posts: 6330; Member since: 31 Mar 2010)


posted on 19 Sep 2012, 15:20 19

3. Lift_Off (Posts: 152; Member since: 04 Apr 2012)

HA! ^

posted on 19 Sep 2012, 19:33 1

30. 2LiveStu (Posts: 5; Member since: 12 Sep 2012)

I see what you did there and I like it.

posted on 19 Sep 2012, 19:58 6

32. networkdood (Posts: 6330; Member since: 31 Mar 2010)

wow, and iPHONEARENA did not ban my comment - it is truly a miracle...

posted on 20 Sep 2012, 00:22

42. kyp5035 (Posts: 16; Member since: 19 Jun 2012)

HAHA ^^^^^

posted on 19 Sep 2012, 15:20 14

2. venkey (Posts: 3; Member since: 19 Sep 2012)

this s gonna be much interesting than samsung ad.

posted on 19 Sep 2012, 15:22 16

4. Aaron_R96 (unregistered)

The man has a point, even I'd never thought of that, but it is standard Apple procedure - strangle the opposition. Doubt it'll do much, but good luck Sean!

posted on 19 Sep 2012, 15:26 1

6. downphoenix (Posts: 3165; Member since: 19 Jun 2010)

actually the man doesn't have a point. Apple points out that it is an advertisement. It is advertising itself in this case. So I think this lawsuit, like most of the ones Apple starts, is frivilous.

posted on 19 Sep 2012, 15:30 3

7. Aaron_R96 (unregistered)

Ahh fair shout - I'd never go near an iPhone so I've never noticed it say it's an advertisement, out of interest, where does Apple mention that on Siri's interface?

Cause if it's not on Siri's interface then it is still somewhat misleading as no-ones gonna check the internet to see if it is indeed advertising their own product..

posted on 19 Sep 2012, 22:33 3

38. infinitemethod (Posts: 151; Member since: 04 Sep 2012)

I think you're missing the point. Siri is supposed to get you answers to your questions, not be an advertising tool in and of itself. This could be a serious lawsuit. Doesn't surprise me knowing Apple though, greediest company on the planet to tty and advertise in an app made to give you factual answers. iFAIL yet again.

posted on 20 Sep 2012, 00:19 2

41. anywherehome (Posts: 971; Member since: 13 Dec 2011)

no, we just can not trust Apple's Siri
telling what Apple wants not what the search engine is designed for ;)

posted on 19 Sep 2012, 15:25 19

5. Non_Sequitur (Posts: 1111; Member since: 16 Mar 2012)

Apple getting trolled back in court.

posted on 19 Sep 2012, 15:39 10

8. Airforce (Posts: 69; Member since: 24 Jul 2012)

Am begining to dislike Apple gradually....fine we all know thier products are good..but nowadays they act INSECURE

posted on 19 Sep 2012, 22:34 3

39. infinitemethod (Posts: 151; Member since: 04 Sep 2012)

Fantastic assessment. They really are. Once people see just how well Google Now works, should start jumping ship much more.

posted on 19 Sep 2012, 15:42 2

9. Naitto (Posts: 50; Member since: 15 Sep 2012)

Maybe Siri’s main processor was kidnaped by some Neo Fascist Apple Nazi’s and her Brain chips were tortured for months until that was the only answer she knew. Hence she would not be lying.

posted on 19 Sep 2012, 15:44 6

10. mukrenol (Posts: 92; Member since: 03 Sep 2011)

Question: siri siri siri, wI'll apple win in court? XD

posted on 19 Sep 2012, 15:49 6

11. shamatuu (Posts: 159; Member since: 02 Nov 2011)

This is interesting. Never heard of him. Not sure what the outcome will be. Anyone suing Apple is gold for me.

posted on 19 Sep 2012, 15:51 6

12. paulyyd (Posts: 340; Member since: 08 Jan 2011)

this guy is just looking for a quick buck

posted on 19 Sep 2012, 15:52 3

13. Deadeye37 (Posts: 196; Member since: 25 Jan 2011)

I don't know why he's complaining. Apple is perfect. The sun revolves around Apple. Apple is the Chuck Norris of tech. Too bad that's in Apple's little dream bubble. But that's ok, since that's where Siri lives.

Ask that question in Androidland and you will get a very different answer.

posted on 19 Sep 2012, 15:54 3

14. raphael007 (Posts: 43; Member since: 12 Jun 2012)

Ahhhhhh it has just started I'm going to enjoy the massive lawsuit coming Apple's way.........

posted on 19 Sep 2012, 16:11 6

16. Jphones (Posts: 235; Member since: 10 Feb 2012)

Makes perfect sense to me. Sue them thats like asking siri will the apple iphone break when dropped? an siri answers no it is indestructable or asking what is the best mapping service? siri answers ios maps. which we all know is a lie an even apple knows that. Apple can't change answers to suit its needs or wallet. Hopefully this guy wins

posted on 19 Sep 2012, 16:26 3

17. andro. (Posts: 1999; Member since: 16 Sep 2011)

The apple propoganda machine has many avenues

posted on 19 Sep 2012, 17:30 1

20. gallitoking (Posts: 4721; Member since: 17 May 2011)

Google does it too.. google anything and you see all the advertising 1st.. nothing new here..

posted on 19 Sep 2012, 17:38 1

21. Airforce (Posts: 69; Member since: 24 Jul 2012)

We all know every marketer wants to sell...but seriously Google is more better and truthful than Apple...nd google tends to prove to people why they are better

posted on 19 Sep 2012, 18:44 2

26. EclipseGSX (Posts: 1744; Member since: 18 Oct 2011)

Ummm no, I just Googled "best search engine" and no ads for anything Google in the first page of results even using Google Chrome! Wake up!

posted on 19 Sep 2012, 20:01 1

34. networkdood (Posts: 6330; Member since: 31 Mar 2010)

Gal, Google actually, honestly, reveals the truth when asked - Siri checks with APPLE first to make sure that she allowed to give the real answer and if APPLE tells SIRI, 'no', then SIRI gives you a different answer. You need to wake up and realize that APPLE is really a sick and evil company that has suckered its customers.

posted on 20 Sep 2012, 02:01 1

44. Jphones (Posts: 235; Member since: 10 Feb 2012)

I don't think you've ever googled anything if your comparing google to apple. Ask siri whats the best internet browser and get a JB running device an ask google now the same thing. umm yeah siri safari and google now comparison charts of browsers

posted on 19 Sep 2012, 17:43

22. phonemonkey (Posts: 168; Member since: 13 Feb 2012)

When it comes down to it,
No one can say what the best phone ever is, because it is preferance

posted on 19 Sep 2012, 18:58 4

27. ap1989 (Posts: 145; Member since: 12 Oct 2011)

Hey Siri: What the best Voice Assistant?
Siri: Google Now

posted on 19 Sep 2012, 19:14 1

29. Stoli89 (Posts: 333; Member since: 28 Jun 2010)

Actually, the man may have a very valid case. Siri is not advertised as an Apple advertisement. It's advertised as a personal assistant. Therefore, modfying answers to favor Apple without proper disclosure seems at least immoral, if not illegal. IMO.

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