By Christopher Brown
COURT: N.D. Cal.
TRACK DOCKET: No. 5:22-cv-07069 (Bloomberg Law Subscription)
COMPANY INFO: Apple Inc. (Bloomberg Law Subscription)
Apple Inc. records users’ private activity on mobile applications without their consent and despite its privacy assurances in violation of the California Invasion of Privacy Act, a new proposed federal class action alleged.
Elliot Libman alleged in the lawsuit that Apple has assured users that they are in control of what information they share when they use mobile apps, but that those assurances are “utterly false.”
“Privacy is one of the main issues that Apple uses to set its products apart from competitors,” the lawsuit filed Thursday said. “But Apple’s privacy guarantees are completely illusory.”
Apple’s iPhones and other devices contain settings that purport to disable all tracking and sharing of app information, but the tech giant continues to collect, track, and monetize their data even after consumers have chosen to disable sharing, it said.
Apple’s “App Store” app provides an example of how the company collects user data: the app records every action users take, what they tapped on, which apps they searched for, what ads they saw, and how long they looked at a given app, the lawsuit alleged.
Most apps that send analytics data to Apple share consistent ID numbers, which allows Apple to track user activity across its services, it said.
“Through its pervasive and unlawful data tracking and collection business, Apple knows even the most intimate and potentially embarrassing aspects of the user’s app usage—regardless of whether the user accepts Apple’s illusory offer to keep such activities private,” the lawsuit said.
Causes of Action: unjust enrichment, invasion of privacy, violations of CIPA.
Relief: Class certification, injunctive relief, compensatory damages, statutory damages, punitive damages, restitution, attorney’s fees and costs.
Potential Class Size: hundreds of thousands of members, according to the complaint.
Response: Apple didn’t respond immediately to an emailed request for comment.
Attorneys: Bursor & Fisher PA represents Libman and the proposed class.
The case is Libman v. Apple, N.D. Cal., No. 5:22-cv-07069, complaint filed 11/10/22.
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By Christopher Brown