Path made the news big, and not how they would have liked, when it was found out that they were upload users mobile address books from their smartphones to Path servers without asking permission. While Path worked quickly to rectify the situation, and Apple stepping in to further clarify what Apps could and couldn’t do without a user’s permission it appears that this hasn’t satisfied some people.
Apparently 13 individuals are bringing a class-action lawsuit against 18 of the biggest names in tech over the issue. The names include:
- Electronic Arts
- Kik Interactive
The claim is that it was discovered in February that these companies were actively accessing a user’s mobile address book and transferring it to company servers.
The reason that this was done claim companies is to be able to provide better friend recommendations but because they weren’t clearly stating exactly what they were doing and asking permission to do so the companies were violating the user’s rights.
“The defendants—several of the world’s largest and most influential technology and social networking companies—have unfortunately made, distributed and sold mobile software applications (“Apps”) that, once installed on a wireless mobile device, surreptitiously harvest, upload and illegally steal the owner’s address book data without the owner’s knowledge or consent,” the plaintiffs say in the filing.
The group involved in the lawsuit claim they’ve experienced damages such as loss of privacy, diminution of address book data value, process and battery life while the address books were being transferred as well as out of pocket expenses. They are suing for $12,000 or more from each of the offending companies along with any profits that was made from the use of those address books.