Bad News For Apple

A Judge in the Northern District of California announced last week that she is permitting a class action against Apple to proceed. The case involves claims that Apple collected data about users when those users downloaded various apps. The court had originally dismissed the suit, but gave the plaintiffs additional time to re-submit the case, in order to add some specificity to claims that the court characterized as too “vague and generalized.” Apparently, the plaintiffs were able to satisfy the judge, as she is allowing the case to go forward. This means that plaintiffs can conduct discovery concerning Apple’s privacy policies and practices. That is not a prospect that Apple relishes. Apple argued that the court should have thrown out the amended complaint, because, according to Apple, no plaintiffs were actually harmed by Apple’s practices. We will see what happens. There is a “no harm no foul” element to the law. If a plaintiff isn’t damaged, there’s really no case. But there’s also a real distaste for the unauthorized use of personal information. It will be interesting to see how this plays out.