The Golden State Warriors are facing a tough showdown—not on the basketball court, but in a U.S. district court, where a judge has ordered the team to trial over its smartphone app, which allegedly recorded fans’ conversations.
The Warriors’ app bills itself as a way for fans to keep track of scores and stats. But while fans were watching the game, the app was watching them, fan LaTisha Satchell claims in a lawsuit. One of the app’s promotional tools allegedly turns a user’s phone microphone on and keeps it on, recording everything within earshot and relaying data back to the Warriors and a tech company, possibly in violation of wiretap laws.
The long-term goal is to use tracking devices to detect player motion, which when combined with optical tracking technologies the NBA has used for the past seven years, will help computers better understand the game of basketball and improve the game overall for teams, players and fans, said Steve Hellmuth, executive vice president of media operation and technology for the NBA.
If the NBA and the player’s association can come to an agreement on wearable use during games, then the NBA would cross-reference motion data with optical tracking data to know with “absolute certainty” where the player and ball are on the court, according to Hellmuth. “Once we have motion capture, then we actually know the hands, arms, legs, feet positioning,” he said. It’s “kind of the last piece in really allowing a computer to understand the game of basketball.”