Class Drops Snooping Lawsuit Against Apple

     SAN JOSE (CN) – Plaintiffs on Thursday voluntarily dismissed a class action accusing Apple of using the “location device” on iPhones to spy on customers.
     Plaintiffs’ attorney Adam Wang filed a 1-page voluntary dismissal without prejudice on Jan. 8.
     Lead plaintiff Chen Ma sued Apple in July 2014 for a putative class of 100 million iPhone users, claiming that the location tracking software violated their privacy .
     The software comes preinstalled on the iPhone 4S, iPhone 5, iPhone 5C and iPhone 5S, and cannot be turned off without impairing the performance of several other functions, according to the original complaint.
     Among other things, the software allows the device 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,” the complaint stated.
     Ma claimed that Apple did not adequately inform customers about the tracking software.
     Ma said she learned of the software while watching an investigation by China’s Central Television (CCTV). Apple allegedly told CCTV that iPhones transfer customers’ private information into a database, but claimed that it would not disclose that information to third parties, according to the complaint.
     But Ma claimed Apple had received several demands for access to people’s private data from third parties, including more than 1,000 such demands from the U.S. government.
     Attorney Wang did not reply to requests for comment by the close of business hours Thursday.

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