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  • Lawsuit against Apple in Massachusetts Claims Company Misused Customers' Personal Info


    Adding to Apple’s never-ending list of legal issues, a lawsuit filed this week in New England claims that Apple collected retail customers’ zip codes in violation of state law and then profited from the sale of that information to third parties. Plaintiffs Adam Christensen, Jeffrey Scolnick and William Farrell claim that they were forced to provide their zip code when making credit card purchases at apple retail stores in Massachusetts, a practice that the suit contends is illegal under the Massachusetts Unfair Trade Practices Act. The statute makes it unlawful to compel customers to provide personally identifiable information beyond that which is required by credit card issuers to verify the transaction.

    The complaint goes on to allege that Apple not only collects this information but then sells it to other companies for profit. As proof, the suit offers a passage from Apple’s privacy policy that states the following:

    Apple may make certain personal information available to strategic partners that work with Apple to provide products and services, or that help Apple market to customers.
    According to the suit, this has caused plaintiffs harm in the following ways:

    First, Plaintiffs and the Class have been injured because they have received unwanted marketing materials from Apple as a result of having provided their zip codes when using credit cards at Apple. Second, Plaintiffs and the Class have been injured by Apple's sale of Plaintiffs' and the Class' PII to third-parties, which was collected by Apple in violation of Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 93 § 105(c). And third, Plaintiffs and the Class have been injured because Apple misappropriated their economically valuable PII [Personally Identifiable Information] without consideration.
    As of right now, Christensen, Scolnick and Farrell seek certification as representatives of a class that would include anyone "from whom Apple requested and recorded personal identification information in conjunction with a credit card transaction occurring in Massachusetts." On behalf of that class, the group is seeking damages of up to $75 per violation, interest on those damages, litigation expenses and attorneys’ fees, and "such other and further relief as may be just and proper." The petition also asks for an injunction that would force Apple to stop collecting zip codes in the state.

    It should be noted that the plaintiffs’ law firm originally contacted Apple with the complaint last April in a bid to settle without going to court. At the time the firm sought out damages of just $25 per violation, attorneys’ fees and a “reasonable incentive reward… for services as the proposed class representative.” Notably, the original complaint didn’t accuse Apple of profiting from the sale of the data to third parties. This particular charge was tacked on once the suit was filed with the reason for its late addition remaining unknown. Apple on the other hand hasn’t responded to the suit yet. We’ll have to wait and see what happens.

    Source: AppleInsider
    This article was originally published in forum thread: Lawsuit against Apple in Massachusetts Claims Company Misused Customers' Personal Info started by Akshay Masand View original post
    Comments 12 Comments
    1. wiipro's Avatar
      wiipro -
      Apple need to make an iSuit App. Keep up with all of your lawsuits! Runs iOS 7 for EXTRA lag!
    1. iH85CH001's Avatar
      iH85CH001 -
      Quote Originally Posted by wiipro View Post
      Apple need to make an iSuit App. Keep up with all of your lawsuits! Runs iOS 7 for EXTRA lag!
      Now that's what I call "Innovation."
    1. vartanarsen's Avatar
      vartanarsen -
      This lawsuit makes me embarrassed to be a New Englander. I, for one, would never even think of suing anything over something like this.
    1. WHUDS's Avatar
      WHUDS -
      Quote Originally Posted by vartanarsen View Post
      This lawsuit makes me embarrassed to be a New Englander. I, for one, would never even think of suing anything over something like this.
      I for one think its about time, I'm there to buy something not give them more info about me to sell me or harass me.
    1. 03mach1's Avatar
      03mach1 -
      Quote Originally Posted by vartanarsen View Post
      This lawsuit makes me embarrassed to be a New Englander. I, for one, would never even think of suing anything over something like this.
      People are ridiculous. I have to give my zip code at gas pumps, retail stores, or most any transactions because that it information that is needed to process the transaction. People are ridiculous.
    1. Bhp41's Avatar
      Bhp41 -
      Ok, so let me get this right. These guys are suing Apple because they ask for a zip code. The same same zip code that's on their AppleID, along with the credit card that's on file for iTunes. Along with their email address so they can get receipts sent to them. Along with their billing address of their CC that's on file. These guys are f$cking morons. If Apple wanted to flood your inbox and mailbox with third party ****. They'd change their name to Google.
    1. slim.jim's Avatar
      slim.jim -
      This is dumb. The US Post Office offers a service for people who want to send out mailers to just pick a zip code and it is sent to everyone within that zip code. Collecting zip code information is essentially useless unless you are just looking for analytics.
    1. steve-z17's Avatar
      steve-z17 -
      These guys are ridiculous...they hand out their zip code to so many different companies for transactions online, what's one more going to hurt?? They just want money, plain and simple, and they don't care what they have to do or say to get it. So pathetic!
    1. WHUDS's Avatar
      WHUDS -
      Quote Originally Posted by steve-z17 View Post
      These guys are ridiculous...they hand out their zip code to so many different companies for transactions online, what's one more going to hurt?? They just want money, plain and simple, and they don't care what they have to do or say to get it. So pathetic!
      Doesn't make it right and ethical? Some of us have had enough of giving up our privacy to everyone. Why does any company have a right to know who I am? Would you post your Address and Phone number online like here? When you register with such info some companies are selling this info to who ever will pay.
    1. steve-z17's Avatar
      steve-z17 -
      Quote Originally Posted by WHUDS View Post
      Doesn't make it right and ethical? Some of us have had enough of giving up our privacy to everyone. Why does any company have a right to know who I am? Would you post your Address and Phone number online like here? When you register with such info some companies are selling this info to who ever will pay.
      LOL, you're talking to the wrong person, I could care less who knows my zip code, I give it out to so many different companies that I've lost track! I give it out every time I fill my car up with gas, I give it to companies that I buy products through amazon, the University I attend has it, my work has it, my bank has it, the DMV has it, my credit card company has it, my gas company has it, Comcast has it, I could go on and on! There's no harm in giving out your zip code. Of course you took it further and said "post your address and phone number" when that's not what were talking about! We're talking about just your zip code. The funny thing is, all those guys have probably already given Apple their phone number and address to them at some point! So don't try and use the "is it ethical" excuse, I could honestly care less. It's obvious these guys are in it for the money. If they really cared about their privacy they wouldn't have made this whole thing public with their names out for the whole world to see...
    1. nealh's Avatar
      nealh -
      The issue is not giving them the info but the fact companies think that info is there to sell.
      That's what I have an issue with

      I don't think company has the right to share or sell the info we provide even if there terms say they may do that

      If they sell it give me the money!!!!
    1. slim.jim's Avatar
      slim.jim -
      Quote Originally Posted by nealh View Post
      The issue is not giving them the info but the fact companies think that info is there to sell.
      That's what I have an issue with

      I don't think company has the right to share or sell the info we provide even if there terms say they may do that

      If they sell it give me the money!!!!
      So far there is no proof that it was sold. That part of the story is still "alleged".