Tons Of Companies Sued In Class Action Lawsuit Over Uploading Phone Addressbooks

from the class-actions-in-action dept

There was some controversy a month or so ago, when it came out that app maker Path was secretly uploading your entire address book to its servers. The company apologized and deleted all the data. Of course, pretty quickly, people realized that lots of apps do this, if you allow the app to search your address book to see who else you know is already using the service. The way they do this is to upload your address book. I would have thought this was, well, obvious, but not everyone seemed to think so (it's also why I never use that feature). Either way, lots of apps quickly changed either how they work or how they explain what happens with that feature.

But, of course, in our litigious society, that's not going to stop the class action lawsuits from being filed. In a 152 page document, a class action lawsuit has been filed against pretty much every big name company in the space:
Path, Inc., Twitter, Inc., Apple, Inc., Facebook, Inc., Beluga, Inc. ., Yelp! Inc., Burbn, Inc., Instagram, Inc., Foursquare Labs, Inc., Gowalla Incorporated, Foodspotting, Inc., Hipster, Inc., LinkedIn Corporation, Rovio Mobile Oy, ZeptoLab UK Limited aka ZeptoLab, Chillingo Ltd., Electronic Arts Inc., and Kik Interactive, Inc.,
The lawsuit kicks off by quoting Robert Fulghum's "All I really Need to Know I Learned In Kindergarten," saying, "Don't take things that aren't yours." Of course, as with many such class actions, this one is all about getting the lawyers paid. This isn't to say that I think the actions in uploading the address books were ok, but worth a lawsuit? Seems a bit extreme. It seems that the public pressure about all of this has caused pretty much all of these companies to change how they work, and it's unlikely any real significant "harm" came from this.

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  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 20 Mar 2012 @ 3:57pm

    In the end, it won't matter

    Most people don't realize that Mark Zuckerberg is a spammer -- just like Sanford Wallace. The only difference is that Zuckerberg is a better con man than Wallace ever was, and one of the bits of fallout from that is that he'll get away with this. So will the spammers at LinkedIn, and all the rest, even though we all KNOW they've been spamming profusely for years and are doing so today. It seems that users are willing to have their mailboxes repeatedly gang-raped in return for a few worthless trinkets.

    Pity. I'd hoped for better. But "oooooh shiny!" seems to trump everything.

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