Indianapolis Colts Lose First Round In Battle Over Beacon ‘Eavesdropping’ App

There’s an article on DigitalNewsDaily about the Indianapolis Colts where a federal judge has ruled that the basketball team must face a lawsuit alleging that the team’s mobile app eavesdropped on fans.

“The app activates phones’ microphones in order to listen to Lisnr’s beacons”

To be clear, these aren’t Bluetooth beacons. Instead, Lisnr uses beacons emitting audio to trigger events in an app:

“LISNR is an ultrasonic audio technology — a communication protocol that uses inaudible sound, called Smart Tones™, to transmit information.”

Unlike with Bluetooth beacons, this necessarily uses the smartphones’ microphone to detect the audio beacons. Had the Colts used Bluetooth Beacons, there would have been no issue over whether microphone listening was being used for nefarious purposes.