Judge greenlights iPhone location tracking lawsuit

By , Jun 13, 2012

Today’s a particularly bad day for Apple’s legal sharks. Just as we learned that Apple won’t be able to stop June 21 launch of Samsung’s Galaxy S III in the U.S. as it hoped it would, Reuters now reports that Apple also failed to fend off the high-profile iPhone tracking lawsuit. Though a federal judge ruled against Apple, he conspicuously let the likes of Google, AdMarval, AdMob, Flurry and Medialets off the hook…

As a result, Apple will now have to defend aganist accusations that it allowed advertisers to secretly track the activity of millions of iOS device users.

Reuters has the story:

Owners of iPhones, iPads and iPod Touches may pursue claims against Apple under two California consumer protection laws, U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh in San Jose, California, said in a decision late Tuesday. Koh oversees nationwide litigation combining 19 lawsuits.

But the judge threw out claims that Apple violated customers’ privacy rights, and also threw out claims under federal laws addressing computer fraud, wiretaps, and records disclosure.

Things aren’t looking good.

Remember the firestorm following a discovery that the iPhone collects location data from users without their consent?

The plaintiffs in their lawsuit blamed Apple for letting advertisers and analytics companies gather data on users’ addresses, genders, ages, UDIDs and even app usage habits.

Steve Jobs denied publicly that Apple had ever been tracking down its users. With an iOS firmware update issued subsequently, location tracking became an opt-in feature and location history was limited to seven days.

Jobs in an alleged email wrote “we don’t track anyone” and later called Android “a probe in your pocket”. Apple also published a detailed Q&A, saying that “Apple is now collecting anonymous traffic data to build a crowd-sourced traffic database with the goal of providing iPhone users an improved traffic service in the next couple of years”.

Indeed, during the unveiling of Apple’s in-house Maps solution at the WWDC keynote, iOS boss Scott Forstall made a point by saying that traffic incidents and other traffic data in Maps is crowd-sourced in real-time and anonymously gathered from other iOS users.

Be that as it may, Apple will now have to provide sound arguments in a nationwide litigation combining 19 lawsuits that it did not intentionally design iOS devices to allow third-parties to collect location data without users’ consent.

Thoughts?

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  • http://twitter.com/iHamzaDev iHamzaDev

    Every company faces a challenge, or at least should face a challenge.  Apple has been winning many of its fights so far.  It really does not make a difference if they lose one, or a few.  Their main focus is innovation and future of the company and its products.

  • http://twitter.com/workaholocaust Michael

    I’m glad they didn’t win that injunction because I pre-ordered my GS3 this past Sunday. I will still hold on to my iPhone 4 and I’m a fan of technology as a whole, not one or the other. After 3 years I am no longer impressed, at this time, with the direction in which Apple is going. That may or may not change.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_VZGXZIFDOHJ2NVMDRXYHUA4QXE JORGE A.

      Agree thise apples bastards diesnt know whst else to do to stop SG3 super advance high tech vs their poor 4s performance. I mean 4s is a very good gadget but comoared to majirity of other smarthphones but when you comoare vs SG3 nothing you can do about it.

      • Kayneeezy

        Your SG3 needs to teach you how to spell.. 

      • SimonReidy

        LOL. I present you with the “most awesome comment of the year” award! :)

    • Ernesto Carrillo

      Well sell me ur iphone 4. Im an apple fan an im not changing until apple goes bankrupt…. Well u figure out when that is. Maybe u can google that on ur sg3. Lol

      • http://twitter.com/workaholocaust Michael

        I’m not selling it to anyone. I’ll still use it just not as a phone. I don’t understand why it is so hard for people to enjoy tech as a whole and not just bash other companies and each other. I have a Nokia too. Should I turn myself in?

  • Kayneeezy

    $100 says the judge is a fandroid…

  • Carlos Briones

    Selling UDID slots for $5! Get your iOS 6 beta now for a small fee.
    Interested?

    Email carlosbriones25@gmail.com or text me 9254372479

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1595420643 Simche Apple Konstantinovic

    By all means, I would allow Apple to collect anonymously for the cause of maps or other app, but only Apple and not other third-part apps or something… It would be actually best if the app that want to require this data from us, to ask us if we allow it! Those who want, just agrees. Those who don’t, doesn’t bother them anymore…