Surrey, BC resident Amanda Ladas has just filed a suit in the Supreme Court of British Columbia alleging that Apple Inc. has violated the privacy and security rights of users of mobile devices running the software operating system iOS4.
The claim says Apple “engaged in deceptive acts or practices that have the capability, tendency or effect of deceiving or misleading class members and that these practices entitle members of the class to aggravated, punitive and/or exemplary damages.”
A digital forensics expert examined Ladas’s iPhone and desktop computer and found that data on her location data was easily accessible using free tools readily available on the Internet.
Apple’s Vice President of Software Technology Guy L. “Bud” Tribble testified before the US congress last year that “not tracking the location of your iPhone. Apple has never done so and has no plans to ever do so.”
Before the hearing, however, Apple admitted there was a bug in iOS that allowed it to store location-based data, but that it was in the process of patching it.
This is not the first time Apple has been sued for privacy issues. In April of last year, two Tampa, Florida computer programmers sued the Cupertino company for privacy invasion. The lawyer representing the men, Aaron Mayer, told Bloomberg “If you are a federal marshal, you have to have a warrant to do this kind of thing, and Apple is doing it without one.”
This issue first came to public attention when Pete Warden, founder of the Data Science Toolkit, and Alasdair Allan, a senior research fellow at the University of Exeter published a blog post claiming that “All iPhones appear to log your location to a file called “consolidated.db.” This contains latitude-longitude coordinates along with a timestamp.”