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Sunday, June 23, 2024 | Back issues
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Apple Tells Court Class Action Has No Basis

(CN) - Opposing a class-certification motion, Apple rejected allegations that it allows applications to access and track personal information.

Apple consumers had first filed a consolidated complaint in 2010, but a San Jose federal judge dismissed it after finding that the class had 'not identified a concrete harm from the alleged collection and tracking of their personal information sufficient to create injury of fact," according to Apple's first motion for summary judgment.

In 2012, the court dismissed all but two claims in a first amended complaint that addressed the Article III standing question by specifically naming which apps they downloaded that accessed and tracked their personal information and the harm that resulted.

The court ruled the Unfair Competition Law and Consumer Legal Remedies Act claims "may prove false," but "at this stage ... [were] sufficient to state a claim"

Apple argued, however, that the plaintiffs admitted "no harm whatsoever" and that they have not lost any money or property and that they "still have no idea whether their personal information or location data was actually tracked."

The plaintiffs say certain free apps collect personal information and share it with third-party advertising or analytics companies without consent. They do so through Application Programming Interfaces in Apple's operating system to obtain Unique Device Identifiers (UDIDs) associated with plaintiffs' devices and transmits the UDIDs to the third parties, they say.

"Plaintiffs have now abandoned this theory and invented a host of new claims that appear nowhere in their complaint," Apple stated in its motion to deny certification. "Critically, plaintiffs still furnish no evidence that any of them was harmed by or personally experienced the challenged practices."

Apple's motion asks U.S. District Court Judge Lucy Koh to deny class certification, arguing members of the class cannot show they relied on statements in Apple's privacy policy when purchasing their iPhones, and still cannot show they suffered any personal or economic harm.

"Plaintiffs have made no changes from their first motion that would satisfy the rigorous requirements of [federal law] and place this case within the narrow 'exception to the usual rule that litigation is conducted by and on behalf of the individual named parties only," Apple stated. "Once again, plaintiffs cannot show that a single one of them relied on any statement by Apple when purchasing their devices, or that they - or any member of the proposed classes - ever experienced the hypothetical issues in their complaint."

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