Lawsuit over smartphone app data mining

2012-03-16 10:30
San Francisco - A small group of US smartphone owners has filed a lawsuit demanding that Facebook, Twitter and other makers of smartphone "apps" pay dearly for mining people's contact lists.

The suit filed in federal court in Austin, Texas on Monday listed Apple among the defendants, arguing that mini-programs are not allowed on the company's coveted iPads, iPhones and iPod Touch devices without its approval.

Lawyers representing the 13 Austin smartphone owners argue that the applications invaded people's privacy by "stealing" personal address book data.

A hot trend toward making applications "mobile and social" resulted in smartphone users' contact lists being tapped into to help find friends or family members that people might want to connect with in online communities.

But the lawsuit argues that delving into address book data without express permission is an invasion of privacy.

The list of defendants included Angry Birds game creator Rovio and US videogame giant Electronic Arts, as well as career-centred social network LinkedIn.

"Essentially, on the cheap and on the sly these defendants have impermissibly mined their App users' phones for contact data," lawyers stated in court documents made available online on Thursday.

The suit calls for a court order barring the practice and for the 18 companies listed as defendants, including Facebook and Twitter, to pay substantial cash damages.

For such a case to succeed, lawyers must prove app users suffered quantifiable harm. Attorneys also want class-action status to represent anyone who may have used one of the offending apps.
Read more on:    apple  |  twitter  |  facebook  |  social networks  |  mobile
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
1 comment
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining

Inside News24

 
/News

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Deal of the week!

Petrol generators from R1399, save up to R350. While stocks last. Shop now!

30% off Pampers!

Save 30% when you buy 3 or more selected pampers products. While stocks last. Shop now!

This week only - 30% off books!

Get 30% off when you buy 2 or more books. Many titles to choose from. While stocks last. Shop now!

New range of Samsung smartphones!

Samsung Galaxy A3, A5 and Alpha now available at kalahari.com. while stocks last. Shop now!

Buy 3 eBooks & only pay for 2!

The cheapest of the 3 titles will be free. Many more titles to choose from. While stocks last. Shop now!

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

You tend to feel more comfortable on an intellectual level. The deep emotional under current today can make you feel a little...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.