Apple is sued over location tracking

Bloomberg News / April 26, 2011

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SAN FRANCISCO — Apple Inc. was accused of invasion of privacy and computer fraud by two customers who claim in a federal lawsuit that the company is secretly recording movements of iPhone and iPad users.

Vikram Ajjampur, an iPhone user in Florida, and William Devito, a New York iPad customer, seek a judge’s order barring such data collection.

The complaint cited a report last week by two programmers who say Apple’s iOS4 operating system is logging latitude-longitude coordinates along with the time a spot is visited. Apple has not commented.

“We take issue specifically with the notion that Apple is now basically tracking people everywhere they go,’’ said Aaron Mayer, an attorney for the plaintiffs.

Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan has asked to meet with Apple and Google Inc. executives to discuss reports their products collect information about users’ locations. French, German, Italian, and South Korean regulators are investigating.

The plaintiffs are seeking to represent US customers whose iPhones and iPads have the operating system in question, Mayer said. One-third to one-half of the country’s 60 million iPhone users could be part of the class, he said.

The complaint says the alleged location collection violates federal computer fraud laws and consumer fraud and deceptive trade practice laws in many states. The lawsuit seeks unspecified punitive damages.