A pair of proposed class actions have been launched in Quebec
and Saskatchewan against Apple Inc. and Apple Canada Inc.
(collectively, "Apple") concerning its advertising
campaign promoting the "Siri" feature on the popular
iPhone 4S smartphone.
Both suits allege that Apple's advertising of Siri was
"fundamentally and designedly false and misleading" and
that the company "knew or should have known that the iPhone 4S
does not perform in accordance with the advertisements and
marketing materials they disseminated." Further, Apple
apparently "never disclosed that the Siri transactions
depicted in its advertisements are fiction and that actual
consumers using actual iPhone 4S's cannot reasonably [sic.]
expect Siri to perform the tasks performed in these
Siri, a voice activated "intelligent digital
assistant", allows users to access and interact with a wide
variety of the smartphone's features through voice commands.
The television and online advertisements depict the software
responding quickly and without difficulty to tasks such as
dictation and requests for directions, traffic, and weather
updates. The complaint notes the disclaimer regarding the
"beta" status of the Siri software which appears
"buried in" Apple's website is absent from the
It is not the first time that Apple has attracted a class action
lawsuit claiming misleading advertising of Siri. A similar case was
filed before the U.S. District Court in San Jose, California mere
weeks before the Canadian cases.
The potential Canadian plaintiff class arguably presents a
stronger case for Apple to defend, because, in contrast to the
U.S., Apple has not yet enabled Siri's "location-based
features" in Canada, which were features allegedly advertised
in Canada nonetheless.
Whether or not either class action will be judicially certified
to proceed in Canada remains to be seen.
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In less than nine months, on July 1, 2017, persons affected by a contravention of Canada's anti-spam legislation will be able to invoke a private right of action to sue for compensation and potentially substantial statutory damages.
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