Customer Data Related $5 Billion Lawsuit against Apple Dismissed Permanently

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A class action lawsuit against Apple that had accused the company of selling customer data is now being thrown out. The case was first filed in May, and it was mentioned that the iPhone maker sold customer-identifying data such as names and addresses from iTunes Store purchases to third parties.

The lawsuit claimed that Apple sells, rents, or transmits customer-related data from its iTunes Store purchases database to third parties and app developers. It was being alleged that the data consists of information related to customers’ names, addresses, music genre, music listening information, and sometimes even the names of music tracks a user had purchased.

The group that filed this lawsuit had claimed that the Cupertino-based firm does this to supplement its revenues and to enhance the brand value in the eyes of mobile app developers and other third parties. While the plaintiffs didn’t submit any proof that Apple indeed sold customer data, they claimed that credible information could be uncovered during the discovery process.

Apple said that the claim was completely untrue and successfully argued it in a way that the case was rejected. The class action lawsuit was initially rejected on October 25 due to the lack of any believable proof under Michigan and Rhode Island law.

The federal judge hearing the case did permit the plaintiffs to file an amended claim. According to legal site MLex, the group of people pursuing the case failed to file an amended claim by the November 14 deadline, so US District Judge William Alsup closed the lawsuit permanently.

Plaintiffs Leigh Wheaton, Jill Paul, and Trevor Paul can no longer pursue the lawsuit against Apple, so the firm now won’t have to answer allegations related to customer privacy and their iTunes music listening history.

Our Take

Dismissal of this lawsuit comes as good news for Apple as it has been getting surrounded by various lawsuits related to patent infringements and user privacy. The firm, which has been increasingly advertising user data privacy as an advantage of being in its ecosystem, can’t afford to lose such user data privacy-related lawsuits and take a hit on its pro-user brand image.

Via: MLex