Apple must defend data stalking charge
June 13, 2012
A federal judge ruled Tuesday that owners of iPhones, iPads and iPod Touches may pursue claims against Apple for allegedly allowing advertisers to secretly track activities of mobile device users. (San Jose Mercury News)
Apple, Google and four other smaller defendants were accused of incorporating software into the devices allowing the monitoring of users’ movements.
Apple was the only one of the six defendants that remains in litigation after U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh of San Jose issued her ruling.
The judge also dismissed claims that alleged computer fraud, unlawful wiretaps and unauthorized records disclosures.
Stemming from disclosures in 2011 made by two computer programmers who discovered tracking software built into the devices, lawsuits seek to prove Apple made it possible for advertisers to download personal data collected from users.
Data known to have been harvested, according to the judge, were addresses, genders, ages, identifiers assigned to devices and functions performed on particular apps. Some device owners said that Apple collected data about their precise whereabouts at a given moment.
Apple founder Steve Jobs insisted to the day he died that monitoring of customers’ data had never been done by the company, and never would be.