Apple Wants Privacy Class Action to Go Away

     SAN JOSE, Calif. (CN) – Apple Inc. has filed a motion for summary judgment in a privacy class action lawsuit.
     The suit claims the company accesses and tracks personal information through third-party iPhone applications without user permission.
     The federal court in San Jose dismissed the plaintiffs’ first consolidated complaint on Sept. 20, 2011, holding they had “not identified a concrete harm from the alleged collection and tracking of their personal information sufficient to create injury in fact,” and had failed to “allege injury in fact to themselves,” Apple’s motion says.
     On June 12, 2012, the court dismissed all but two of the claims in the plaintiffs’ first amended complaint. However, with respect to the question of Article III standing, held the “Plaintiffs [had] addressed the concerns indentified in the Court’s September 20 order and [had] articulated a particularized harm as to themselves” by alleging ‘which apps they downloaded that accessed or tracked their personal information’ and ‘what harm resulted from the access or tracking of their personal information,'” Apple’s continues.
     “With respect to the UCL (Unfair Competition Law) and CLRA (Consumer Legal Remedies Act) claims against Apple, the court noted that plaintiffs’ allegation ‘may prove false,’ but ‘at this stage … [were] sufficient to state a claim,” the motion states.
     Apple, however, argues, in part, that the plaintiffs admit suffering “no harm whatsoever,” that they have not lost money or property and that they “still have no idea whether their personal information or location data was actually tracked.
     In addition, the company says a forensic analysis of plaintiffs’ iPhones – and the testimony of each of plaintiffs experts – confirmed that there is no evidence whatsoever that any of plaintiffs personal information or location data was in fact transmitted to the third-party companies or Apple.”
     Apple added that in order to download an application, Apple device users must create an Apple ID and agree to the App Store Terms and Conditions, which includes its privacy policy.
     “Apple’s Privacy Policy clearly states that it applies solely to data that Apple itself collects, uses, discloses, transfers and stores – and not to data collected by third parties, such as apps. The policy further discloses that apps may collect data from users’ devices.”
     Apple says the plaintiffs lack standing under Article III of the U.S. Constitution and under the UCL, and have no evidence of any material misrepresentations or nondisclosures.
     In closing, Apple states in its motion that, “This lawsuit never should have been brought. There was never a factual basis for it, never a law broken, and never a person harmed. Discovery of the plaintiffs and their phones has definitively established that the facts plaintiffs invented to circumvent the court’s Sept. 20, 2011 order have no bases.”
     A hearing is set for Nov. 7, 2013 before U.S. District Judge Lucy H. Koh.
     S. Ashlie Beringer, Joshua Jessen and Jessica Ou, of Gibson Dunn & Crutcher in Palo Alto, represent the plaintiffs.

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