Earlier this year when Path came under fire for uploading the entire contents of users mobile address books (contacts) to their private servers, it launched a myriad of individual lawsuits. This week we’re hearing that 13 of those plaintiffs are seeking to build a class against a group of well known apps.
The new class action suit alleges that billions of contacts from the wireless address books of millions of wireless mobile users were stolen without their knowledge or permission. The lawsuit alleges that these actions took place in “homes, coffee shops, restaurants, bars, stores, and businesses all across the nation,” which turned the victim’s address books into, “mobile radio beacons broadcasting and publicly exposing the unsuspecting device owner’s address book data to the world.”
More after the break
Many apps add a convenience feature that allows users to check their address books, Facebook profiles, and Twitter followers against other users to connect with people that they already know from other social networks and apps. Most of these apps broadcast some kind of permission warning in iPhones and every Android app is required to state which permissions the app is going to use before pushing an OK button, thus allowing the app to do so.
Path, Twitter, Apple, Facebook, Beluga, Yelp, Burbn, Instagram, Foursquare Labs, GoWalla, Foodspotting, Hipster, Linked In, Rovio Mobile, Zeptolab UK, Chillingo Electronic Arts and Kik were all named in the suit.
So far only Linked In and Zeptolab have made any comment to the press about the suit. Linked In’s Hani Durzey told CNet:
“Yes, we’ve seen the suit. It’s baffling, because quite simply, our mobile apps do not do what is alleged in the suit.”
Zeptolab said: “As far as we know we have not been legally served with any lawsuit, and thus have no comment at this time.”