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. icon
    awbMaven (profile), 20 Mar 2012 @ 4:18pm

    Do you believe that?

    "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."

    I think it safer to believe the the company did not delete all the data.


    "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."

    When it becomes OK for some citizen to say "OK, sorry, I'll delete any data I have snatched during my hacking" and have no further action taken against them, then I would consider it ok for business to do the same. Until then and while citizens are being locked up and/or attempts are made to extradite them and lock them up (for years), then I think businesses should be nailed to the mast financially via class action law suits and their executives thrown in the same hole some citizen hackers are finding themselves.

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