A judge has ruled that Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) must provide details on its compliance with a court order to disclose evidence in a privacy lawsuit. Previously, the company has been providing information to the judge without documentation.
U.S. Magistrate Judge Paul S. Grewal made the ruling on Wednesday and issued an order after the plaintiffs’ lawyers had claimed Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) did not turn over documents it had earlier been ordered to produce. This comes as Apple has been accused in a 2011 lawsuit of collecting data on customers’ locations through iPhones, even when the device’s geo-location feature had been turned off.
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Grewal said that he had “refereed” the dispute and that it was it was “unacceptable” that Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) had waited over three months to verify whether or not it had complied with the November order to give up the documents.
He added in the order, according to Bloomberg, “Luckily for the plaintiffs, Apple has provided more than enough evidence itself to suggest to the court that it has not fully complied with the court’s order. In light of Apple’s performance in this case, the court cannot rely on its representations that this time it really has or will produce all responsive documents.”
Is this a sign of how Apple runs its company?
In addition, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) has also been accused in this lawsuit of failing to inform customers that its iOS operating system enabled third parties to gather and monitor personal information of iPhones and iPads without their consent.
Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) responded in a court filing it has kept a close watch over some of the case’s documents because it and millions of its customers could be hurt should the information “inadvertently [be] released to the public or fell into the wrong hands.”
So what’s next? Apple has until 5 p.m. on Friday to give the court detailed information on how it’s gathering and reviewing the requisite documents. It must cite the search terms utilized, the search dates, individuals that had been searched and the number of documents discovered.
Then Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) has a March 18 deadline to give unredacted copies of specific documents to the plaintiffs.
In a separate request for the documents, plaintiffs have also requested a class-action status from the court, reported by Bloomberg. Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) has argued a denial for this request as they haven’t shown that personal information had been obtained without their consent. Therefore it can’t be shown that any harm had been endured by them.