TWO SEPARATE groups of iPhone and iPad users have sued Apple Inc alleging that specific computer software applications have been passing individual user data to third-celebration advertisers with out consent.
In the lawsuits seeking class action, filed in a federal court in California, the plaintiffs sought a ban on passing of user information without consent and monetary compensation, according to case documents.
At some point, both situations may possibly be consolidated into 1 by the judges presiding over the circumstances, stated Majed Nachawati, a partner at law firm Fears& Nachawati, one of the attorneys for the complainants.
Along with Apple, makers of popular apps such as Textplus4, Paper Toss, Weather Channel, Dictionary.com, Speaking Tom Cat and Pumpkin Maker had been also named co-defendants in the lawsuits filed on December 23.
The lawsuits comply with a December 18 report in the Wall Street Journal that said smartphones apps might be sharing individual information “extensively and frequently,” and that iPhone apps transmitted much more information than apps on phones utilizing Google’s Android operating system.
“We are also seeking at Google’s Android platform and a lawsuit against them has not been ruled out,” Nachawati mentioned.
Issues about user privacy have emerged with the rapid growth of smartphones that spawn apps, and social networking websites such as Twitter and Facebook.
The Unique Device ID that Apple assigns to its devices has turn into an attractive function for third-party advertisers seeking for a way to reliably track mobile device users’ on the web activities, one particular of the lawsuits mentioned.
“None of the defendants adequately informed plaintiffs of their practices, and none of the defendants obtained plaintiffs’ consent to do so,” one lawsuit alleged.
NO Significant THREAT
In April, Apple amended its developer agreement to ban apps from sending information to third parties except for data directly needed for the functionality of the apps.
Nevertheless, the lawsuits allege that Apple has taken no methods to in fact implement its revised developer agreement or enforce it in any meaningful way due to criticism from advertising networks.
Apple could not be quickly reached for a comment.
International Equities Study analyst Trip Chowdhry stated the lawsuits would have small influence on investors.
“If this have been a major situation, all web browsers would have to shut down and there would not be any marketing on the Web,” Chowdhry stated.
Apple shares have been up 74 cents at $ 325.42 in afternoon trade on Tuesday on Nasdaq. They touched an all-time high of $ 326.66 earlier in the session, as investors were unperturbed by the lawsuits.
ThinkEquity analyst Rajesh Ghai stated though there is scope for social media organizations to tighten their policies to prevent the leakage of sensitive individual info, he did not count on the present lawsuits to have any effect on Apple in the extended term.
Final month, Facebook said some of its applications violated the social networking company’s policies against sharing user info and had promised to repair the dilemma.
Earlier this year, microblogging service Twitter agreed to settle with the U.S. Federal Trade Commission over charges that it place its customers’ privacy at danger by failing to safeguard their private info.
On December 16, the U.S. Commerce Department’s Net Policy Activity Force mentioned in a report that the division need to have its own privacy workplace and create voluntary, enforceable codes of conduct for information firms and advertisers that track folks on the World wide web.
The situations are in re: Freeman et al v. Apple Inc et al, No. 5:ten-cv-05881-HRL and the other case is in re: Lalo v. Apple Inc et al, No. 5:ten-cv-05878-PSG, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, San Jose division.