By Adam Z. Lein | September 17, 2012 7:58 AM
If you thought only Apple’s commercials on TV were practicing false advertising, try asking Siri to do a web search for something like “the best computer”. Instead of actually providing information based on web search results and user reviews, Apple’s Siri software will provide a “sponsored answer” instead that advertises Apple’s products. When you ask Siri, “What is the best computer?” Siri answers with “a mac” instead of an answer that’s backed by actual data or a listing of information that’s relevant to your questions. We saw a similar issue earlier when you could ask Siri “What is the best smartphone?” and the response would give you actual data from the internet that indicated that the Nokia Lumia 900 was the best smartphone at the time. Apple quickly replaced that actual answer with a sponsored advertisement for the iPhone instead. This means that other “more-accurate” information is being removed from Siri’s results in order to promote Apple’s own products.
One of our law-student Pocketnow readers decided to sue Apple about this on-device false advertising simply out of principle. Sean DeVries’ goal is to get Apple to at least change their website and end user agreement to include this information though an indicator of “sponsored responses” would be best during Siri’s answers. Sean’s court date is scheduled for October 9th.