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TMCNet:  Apple sued for privacy invasion with location service [ANSA]

[July 29, 2014]

Apple sued for privacy invasion with location service [ANSA]

(ANSA Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) By Han Shasha (People's Daily Online) - San Francisco, July 29 - A Chinese woman named Chen Ma in San Jose, California sued Apple recently on behalf of about 100 million iPhone users, claiming the company invade their privacy. Plaintiff Ma, who has an iPhone 5S, claims that Apple did not inform its customers about its "location service" function on iPhones which can tract and record its users' every-minute whereabouts. She also claimed that the company transmits the recorded information to its database without customers' knowledge or permission. And the company even gives users' private information to third parties, including the federal government, a class action claims in Federal Court in San Jose division. Ma says she found out about the violation when China's Central Television (CCTV) launched an investigation into Apple's location service feature. Since the launch of iPhone 4 which contains an iOS operating system, the cell phone's newly assed function has been able to "track its users' whereabouts down to every minute, record the duration that users stay at any given geographical point, and periodically transmit these data stored on the users' devices to Apple's database for future references," according to the July 24 complaint. The iPhone 4S, iPhone 5, iPhone 5C and iPhone 5S also come pre-installed with the tracking software, the complaint reads. When CCTV asked Apple about the feature, "Apple only stressed that it will not disclose to any third party the data concerning iPhone consumers' detailed daily whereabouts, but did not deny that these iPhones are indeed transmitting such highly sensitive and private consumers' data to its database to be stored for future reference," the complaint states. According to the file from courthouse news service, Ma also claimed that Apple had released consumers' information to third parties, including the U.S. government, which "has made more than 1,000 information requests to Apple." She wants Apple to give all these iPhone users compensatory damages and promise to no longer use Location Services to collect data without explicitly permission. Adam Wang, a Chinese American lawyer in San Jose helped Ma file the lawsuit on June 24. The reporter failed to talk to the lawyer without any feedback after repeated calls and emails. Apple also declined to comment about the class action lawsuit. Sandy Morris, with civil case docketing at the Northern District of California, San Jose Division told reporter that the first hearing of the case will be on Jan. 12, 2015.


(c) 2014 ANSA Provided by SyndiGate Media Inc. (Syndigate.info).

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