Apple Ducks Liability in Application Privacy Case
(CN) - A woman cannot sue Apple based on claims that the makers of "Angry Birds" and other Apple applications store users' personal information, a federal judge ruled.
Lead plaintiff Maria Pirozzi claims Apple, headquartered in Cupertino, Calif., failed to properly screen third-party software applications, distributed through its online App Store, that upload user information from mobile devices such as the iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad.
In her complaint, Pirozzi calls out apps such as Angry Birds, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Yelp, Instagram and Hipster for allegedly uploading the contact names, private photographs and other personal information of users without permission.
Many third-party applications ask users for permission to use their "current location" before opening an application. The class said this permission gives the application developers unfettered access.
Apple argued, however, that the Communications Decency Act bars the lawsuit. It also said Pirozzi lacks standing under Article III of the U.S. Constitution and that she failed to state a claim for relief. It said she did not demonstrate that the alleged privacy breach affected her financially, or that any third-party app uploaded personal information from her mobile device.
U.S. District Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers agreed Thursday.
Although Pirozzi identifies third-party apps that could have uploaded her information, no specific application has been positively identified as having done so, she found
"At this juncture, plaintiff fails to identify which Apple devices she used; which Apps accessed or tracked her personal information, if any; or the resulting harm from the data collection," Rogers said. "Should plaintiff choose to proceed on the theory that she has been harmed by actual collection of her personal information, she will need to identify which of the Apple devices she used, which Apps she downloaded that accessed or tracked her personal information, if any, and what harm, if any, resulted from the accessing or tracking of her personal information."
Pirozzi has until Jan. 22, 2013, to file a second amended complaint.