A group of thirteen US smartphone owners from Austin has filed a lawsuit in federal court inAustin,Texas against makers of smartphone “apps” stating that these “apps” steal personal information from smartphones, reports AFP.
Eighteen companies including social networking sites like LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, “Angry Birds” game creator Rovio, videogame giant Electronic Arts, and Apple have been listed as defendants in the case.
Lawyers representing smartphone owners argue that smartphone “apps” of the listed companies invade the privacy of the users by “stealing” personal address book data from smartphones.
“Essentially, on the cheap and on the sly these defendants have impermissibly mined their App users’ phones for contact data,” said lawyers in court documents.
These complainants are now demanding court order for barring the practice and defendants to pay cash damages.
Apple has been listed as a defendant as the lawyers argue that the company doesn’t allow mini-programs on its coveted iPads, iPhones and iPod Touch devices without approval.
Smartphone “apps” makers are trying to make their applications “mobile and social” tapping users’ contact lists to help users connect with their friends or family members. The lawsuit argues that this tapping of contact list without permission of the user is an invasion of privacy.
In order to win the case, complainants must prove that app users suffered quantifiable harm due to privacy invasion from smartphone “apps”.