Apple forced to face device tracking lawsuit

Google, Admob, and Flurry off the hook

Apple forced to face device tracking lawsuit
A federal judge has ruled Apple must defend against a class action suit alleging that the company allowed advertisers to secretly track the activity of iOS users.

US district judge Lucy Koh - who is overseeing nationwide litigation that combines 19 lawsuits - threw out claims that Apple had violated its users privacy rights, as well as claims that the company had breached laws covering computer fraud, wiretaps, and records disclosure.

However, Koh ruled that iOS users could pursue claims against Apple under two California consumer protection laws.

Sub rosa

The plaintiffs claimed Apple had designed its devices to allow advertising and analytics companies collect personal data through applications – all often done without the users' knowledge or permission.

Said data included a user's address, age, sex, location, and device identifiers. Koh commented that there was "some ambiguity" as to whether Apple's user agreements would shield it from liability in these cases.

However, in throwing out claims that Apple had violated its users' privacy rights, Koh stated that the company's actions did not constitute an "egregious breach of social norms," and could even be considered "routine commercial behaviour."

Meanwhile, other defendants in the case - including Google, AdMarval, Admob, Flurry, and Medialets - have all been dismissed from these particular legal proceedings.

[source: Reuters]
Staff Writer's news editor 2012-2013


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