Apple Inc. (AAPL) Cleared In Privacy Lawsuit Over Data Collection


Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) has been cleared from the allegation that the company indecorously collected and shared customers’ personal information. U.S. District Court Judge Lucy Koh cleared the iPhone maker, citing the fact that the petitioners could not prove that Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) misrepresented any fact or that they have suffered any harm.

Plaintiffs failed to prove any harm from Apple policies

“Plaintiffs must be able to provide some evidence that they saw one or more of Apple’s alleged misrepresentations, that they actually relied on those misrepresentations, and that they were harmed thereby,” Koh said in the November 25 ruling. This case is one among 19 related cases all over the country which are being looked at by Judge Koh.

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Scott Kamber, a lawyer for the plaintiffs, told Bloomberg that they are not satisfied with the decision, and discussion is being held to evaluate other options. He added that Judge Koh cleared Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) of the charges because the company claimed that there is no injury.

“The court’s decision did not address the merits of the underlying claims but was limited to the timing of plaintiffs’ review of Apple’s privacy policy,” said the lawyer.

Plaintiffs claimed damages

The case was filed against Apple in 2011, accusing the company of violating the privacy policy by transmitting a log of user locations collected through iPhones to third parties without the consent of users. The information could be passed onto the third party even if the user is not using the geolocation feature of the phone. The litigators said that they would not have paid extra money to buy an iPhone if the fact of collecting data was known to them beforehand.

The plaintiffs claimed that they had to bear the damages by paying more money for the iPhones and by losing storage space apart from other issues, as per the court document.

Google also faced similar charges

Earlier, Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) was also cleared from similar charges where the judge ruled that the company’s Cookie-tracking practices have not caused any harm to the plaintiffs. A few weeks back, Google agreed to pay $17 million for claims around 36 states and the District of Columbia accepting that it breached the user privacy when circumventing the tracking cookie blockers in Apple’s Safari browser.

The case is in Apple Inc. iPhone/iPad Application Consumer Privacy Litigation, 11-md-02250, U.S. District Court, Northern District of California (San Jose).