Privacy Law

Fed'l Class Action Says Social Network, Game Apps Take Smartphone Contact Info Without User OK


Apps for popular social networking sites and games including Facebook, Twitter, Yelp and possibly Angry Birds are accessing confidential personal address book data without user permission, contends a federal suit filed in Austin, Texas, this week.

The suit, which was filed in federal district court in Travis County, seeks an injunction barring tech firms from taking confidential data without permission and damages, the American-Statesman reports.

It asserts claims including invasion of privacy; unjust enrichment; intentional interception, disclosure or use of wire or electronic communication; and racketeering.

Apple is also named as a defendant, although other makers of smartphones are not; Google and Amazon are not named, either. However, they might also be included in the lawsuit as it develops, said Jeff Edwards, who serves as the plaintiffs’ lead counsel.

In addition to the Edwards Law Firm, counsel for the plaintiffs includes the Law Offices of Carl F. Schwenker and the Jordan Law Firm.

Representatives of the defendants either declined to comment or did not respond to requests for comment from the newspaper.

Additional coverage:

Bloomberg: “Anarchy in the App Store”

CNet: “Congress not happy with Apple’s response on privacy concerns”

PC Magazine: “18 Firms Sued Over App Privacy, Including Apple, Twitter, Facebook”

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