Judge orders Apple to hand over documents, prove compliance in privacy lawsuits

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014
Apple's own assurances that it is complying with court orders to turn over evidence in a privacy lawsuit are insufficient according to the judge presiding over the case, who has ruled that the company must now turn over all documents related to the matter.

UDID
Example of a UDID found in the iTunes device summary tab.


U.S. Magistrate Judge Paul S. Grewal, responding to plaintiff complaints that Apple has withheld documents had been ordered by the court to produce, called Apple's efforts at proving its compliance "unacceptable." Apple waited more than three months after Grewal's November order to verify its compliance.

"Luckily for the plaintiffs," Grewal wrote, according to Bloomberg, "Apple has provided more than enough evidence itself to suggest to the court that it has not fully complied with the court's order. In light of Apple's performance in this case, the court cannot rely on its representations that this time it really has or will produce all responsive documents."

The plaintiffs in the suit allege that both Apple has collected and stored geolocation data on them and others through their iPhones, even when the device's geo-location functions were deactivated. They further hold that Apple allowed third parties to collect iPhone user data and monitor personal information without users' consent. Apple has been looking to block class action status for their suit, claiming that the plaintiffs are unable to demonstrate harm or to even prove their claims.

Apple so far has resisted releasing some documents, claiming that it and its customers might be harmed should the information be "inadvertently released to the public" or fall into "the wrong hands."

Grewal's order calls for Apple to submit a detailed account of its processes in collecting and evaluating the documents it is required to produce. That account must contain search terms used, dates of searches, individuals related to the searches, and the number of documents turned up. Grewal will then review Apple's submission and determine whether the company has made a "good faith and reasonable effort."
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 49
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 20,451member


    There's even more that that the court has ordered Apple to produce:


     


     


    "In Grewal’s order, plaintiffs lawyers also won the right to see Apple documents concerning its process of reviewing applications for its mobile devices. The company redacted the information in part, it said, because the information is “incredibly sensitive and valuable and is a closely guarded trade secret,” according to a court filing.


    Phillip Shoemaker, Apple’s Director of App Review, submitted a filing in the case last month explaining how disclosure of the review process would jeopardize Apple and “create real risk” to millions of users of its products, according to the filing."

  • Reply 2 of 49
    anonymouseanonymouse Posts: 6,570member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post


    There's even more that that the court has ordered Apple to produce:


     


     


    "In Grewal’s order, plaintiffs lawyers also won the right to see Apple documents concerning its process of reviewing applications for its mobile devices. The company redacted the information in part, it said, because the information is “incredibly sensitive and valuable and is a closely guarded trade secret,” according to a court filing.


    Phillip Shoemaker, Apple’s Director of App Review, submitted a filing in the case last month explaining how disclosure of the review process would jeopardize Apple and “create real risk” to millions of users of its products, according to the filing."



     


    So, what you're pointing out is that Apple takes its users privacy seriously and is trying to protect them as much as possible? Thanks.


     


    Unlike Google who will just give your info to anyone who sticks a junk app in their store. Got it.

  • Reply 3 of 49
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 31,012member
    Apple needs to offshore it's entire US operation. Pull up stakes, Tim and move Apple Inc. to Puerto Rico.
  • Reply 4 of 49
    maltamalta Posts: 78member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by anonymouse View Post


    Unlike Google who will just give your info to anyone who sticks a junk app in their store. Got it.



     


    Yep...


     


    The most popular free apps on Apple's iOS platform are sharing significantly more user data than the most popular apps on Google's Android platform, according to a study recently released by Appthority.


     


    "Appthority's App Report for February 2013 looked at the top performing free mobile apps across both iOS and Android, as free mobile apps are more likely to rely ad networks and analytics companies as a means of generating revenue. Despite Android's reputation as a less secure platform, Appthority found that it was iOS apps that are allowed to engage in more risky behaviors.


     


    http://appleinsider.com/articles/13/03/05/ios-apps-leak-more-personal-data-than-do-android-apps---report

  • Reply 5 of 49
    YEA, like some [email protected]# judge is even going to understand the technical nature of the processes used by companies like Apple. Most of these judges can barely find their way to work.
  • Reply 6 of 49
    mikeb85mikeb85 Posts: 506member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by anonymouse View Post


     


    So, what you're pointing out is that Apple takes its users privacy seriously and is trying to protect them as much as possible? Thanks.


     


    Unlike Google who will just give your info to anyone who sticks a junk app in their store. Got it.



     


    Despite your erroneous beliefs, Google actually respects privacy far more than Apple.  And Android makes it more difficult for developers to access your personal data than iOS....


     


    Instead of spouting the latest popular pro-Apple rhetoric, maybe you should do a little research...

  • Reply 7 of 49
    haggarhaggar Posts: 1,568member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post


    There's even more that that the court has ordered Apple to produce:


     


     


    "In Grewal’s order, plaintiffs lawyers also won the right to see Apple documents concerning its process of reviewing applications for its mobile devices. The company redacted the information in part, it said, because the information is “incredibly sensitive and valuable and is a closely guarded trade secret,” according to a court filing.


    Phillip Shoemaker, Apple’s Director of App Review, submitted a filing in the case last month explaining how disclosure of the review process would jeopardize Apple and “create real risk” to millions of users of its products, according to the filing."



     


    You mean just because Apple tells the court "Hey, we're good for it", the court can't just take Apple's word for it?  Shouldn't we just accept Apple's word that they review applications in a fair, unbiased manner?  Or perhaps Apple can't disclose their review process because the reviewers just make it up as they go along, so nothing is actually written?

  • Reply 8 of 49
    macologistmacologist Posts: 264member


    Is this another case of a "shakedown", where someone is trying to create enough pr pressure to force a $$ settlement? 


     



    1. Is the complaint here that Apple should have not known where users were on a given day, at a given time?  


    2. Don't the Cell Carriers already know where we are with our cell phones all the time? Thus someone already has info anyway!


    3. So what happened in this case??  


    4. As the result of Apple knowing that Where and When Info, did the sky fall?  


    5. Were some spouses caught cheating:)!?


    6. Were students or employees caught playing hooky?


    7. What exact harm did Apple cause? 


    8. Are Google with its Android OS, and all their licensees held to the exact same scrutiny standard? 


    9. How much $$ do these "victims" want?


    10. How many "victims" are there in this case?  


     


    It seems to me that Apple's 137B pile of cash is inspiring not just a glut of opinions on how it should be spent, but also a bunch of law suits that appear to be questionable! That is not really surprising, but it'd be great if the courts/judges were just as suspicious of the plaintiffs in such cases!

  • Reply 9 of 49
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member


    Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

    Apple needs to offshore it's entire US operation. Pull up stakes, Tim and move Apple Inc. to Puerto Rico.


     


    Not sure how that's "offshore" when it's US-owned, and not sure how even under some different definition of law there that it matters, given that they're becoming a state this year and "offshore" won't apply anymore. image

  • Reply 10 of 49
    solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    mikeb85 wrote: »
    Despite your erroneous beliefs, Google actually respects privacy far more than Apple.  And Android makes it more difficult for developers to access your personal data than iOS....

    Instead of spouting the latest popular pro-Apple rhetoric, maybe you should do a little research...

    How fucking warped must you be to claim that a company that profits from selling agregate data to companies cares more about your privacy than companies that profit from selling tangible products to end users?
  • Reply 11 of 49
    genovellegenovelle Posts: 912member
    mikeb85 wrote: »
    Despite your erroneous beliefs, Google actually respects privacy far more than Apple.  And Android makes it more difficult for developers to access your personal data than iOS....

    Instead of spouting the latest popular pro-Apple rhetoric, maybe you should do a little research...
    Maybe you should try reading comments by their founder and CEO who on more than one occassion said that privacy laws were impeding their goals. This is also the company that was just recently fine the largest fine ever for knowingly hacking Safari to track users who requested not to me tracked. They also were blocked from The AppStore for downloading customer data from their iPhones if they used google voice. You must be referring to a Different Google. As far as protecting data, forcing consumers to figure out which apps sold in Google's site are legitimate on there own is a poor way of protecting the consumer. Since there are few controls the criminal have free access. Good luck with that.
  • Reply 12 of 49

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Mikeb85 View Post


     


    Despite your erroneous beliefs, Google actually respects privacy far more than Apple.  And Android makes it more difficult for developers to access your personal data than iOS....


     


    Instead of spouting the latest popular pro-Apple rhetoric, maybe you should do a little research...



     


    Dumbest comment of the day...


     


    Wasn't it just a few weeks ago that we found out any App developer you buy an App from on Google Play ends up getting your real name, e-mail, town and ZIP? And this is completely separate from App permissions since it's provided by Google after the transaction is made?


     


    So if I buy 50 Apps over the course of a year I now have 50 developers with access to this information. With Apple (who doesn't pass this along to developers) I can buy those same 50 Apps and my information is only shared once (with Apple).

  • Reply 13 of 49
    mikeb85mikeb85 Posts: 506member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post





    How fucking warped must you be to claim that a company that profits from selling agregate data to companies cares more about your privacy than companies that profit from selling tangible products to end users?


     


    Google doesn't sell data, they sell advertising space.  Their algorithms then link ads to users, without ever giving away information.  Again, instead of repeating the erroneous status quo why don't you try to fucking learn something?

  • Reply 14 of 49
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 20,451member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post





    How fucking warped must you be to claim that a company that profits from selling agregate data to companies cares more about your privacy than companies that profit from selling tangible products to end users?


    Soli, I don't recall ever seeing a validated claim that Google sells any data at all. Where did you find that?


     


    As far as Google being at least as careful with user data as Apple is, I wouldn't find that hard to believe at all. If Google ever stops caring about their users privacy it risks losing their trust too. severely hampering their ability to continue the business of targeted ad placement. It's shooting themselves in the back.  If anything maintaining user privacy may be even more important to Google's business than Apple's.  

  • Reply 15 of 49
    kdarlingkdarling Posts: 1,640member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Landcruiser View Post



    YEA, like some [email protected]# judge is even going to understand the technical nature of the processes used by companies like Apple. Most of these judges can barely find their way to work.


     


    Grewal is the same Magistrate Judge who blocked a lot of crucial Samsung evidence from the $1B California trial.


     


    Later, he was the judge who recently refused Samsung's request for documents from that case, to be used in a Japan trial.


     


    He also penalized Samsung for not producing source documents in a timely manner, to which one outspoken poster (I won't name names) here said "...the issue is does Apple comply with court orders?  By failing to comply Samsung has shown twice now they have no respect for this judge who represents US law."   (I guess he now must think that Apple has no respect for this judge, either.)


     


    In short, Apple fans here have a history of defending all the previous decisions of this judge.

  • Reply 16 of 49
    inklinginkling Posts: 731member
    Quote: "Apple's own assurances that it is complying with court orders to turn over evidence in a privacy lawsuit are insufficient according to the judge presiding over the case, who has ruled that the company must now turn over all documents related to the matter."

    Yes, and that'd almost certainly violate the very privacy that this lawsuit is supposed to be protecting.

    Personally, I think these lawyers suing Apple are blowing hot air. I looked at the location data on my iPhone. It included locations I've never been, a strong indication those locations were the cell tower my phone was using. That vague locale is something my cell company always knows, so it is hardly a big deal. And all the data revealed is that I was in NW Seattle. Since I live and work there, it's hardly a great revelation.

    This lawsuit illustrates what greedy tort lawyers often do. They find some petty complaint that affects millions of alleged complainants and file a class action lawsuit. Check the history of the lawsuits filed against Apple and you'll notice a consistent pattern. Those allegedly hurt get a pittance, typically $5-20. Given the paperwork that has to be done, those who claim are likely to be earning less than the minimum wage for their labors of claiming. That's not accidental.

    On the other hand, the tort lawyers make out like the bandits they are, billing perhaps $400/hour for their often inflated time totals (i.e. any part of an hour billed as an hour). They and Apple's lawyers work out the cozy little deal that benefits on the lawyers. Paying millions of allegedly harmed consumers any significant sum would cost Apple a fortune, so those payments are small and, by mutual agreement, accompanied by troublesome filing woes. On the other hand, the lawyers who filed the lawsuit, because there's just a few of them, can make well into the six figures for a few months work. Paying them off is cheaper than either continuing the fight in court or actually paying any significant money to the alleged clients.

    My own sense is that the courts should track just how much money is claimed by the 'victims' and when it's less than what their lawyers want to collect by some ratio, say 10 to 1, the lawyers get not a penny for their time. After all, why should the supposedly harmed, get a measly $10 when the lawyer, who's supposed to be looking out for their interests, rakes in $100,000? These lawyers ought to be glad they're not getting disbarred for these sorts of 'enrich the lawyer' settlements.

    One final note. Our legal system is screwed up and it's going to stay that way until we quit electing Democrats who, as any quick check on political donations will demonstrate, are in the pockets of these greedy and unprincipled tort lawyers.
  • Reply 17 of 49
    kdarlingkdarling Posts: 1,640member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post



    How fucking warped must you be to claim that a company that profits from selling agregate data to companies cares more about your privacy than companies that profit from selling tangible products to end users?


     


    What's wrong with aggregate data?   You can't get anything personal from it.


     


    Even Apple states that:


     



    • "Aggregated data is considered non-personal information for the purposes of this Privacy Policy"


    • "We may collect, use, transfer, and disclose non-personal information for any purpose."

  • Reply 18 of 49
    mjtomlinmjtomlin Posts: 1,833member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Mikeb85 View Post


     


    Despite your erroneous beliefs, Google actually respects privacy far more than Apple.  And Android makes it more difficult for developers to access your personal data than iOS....


     


    Instead of spouting the latest popular pro-Apple rhetoric, maybe you should do a little research...



     


    That's good for a huge laugh! Do you think Google provides all those services for free? What exactly do you think their business model is? They are an advertising company - no different than Clear Channel except digital. They NEED your data, as much as they can get. Haven't you ever heard that creepy Eric Schmidt talk before, "We have so much data on our users and know so much about them, they won't need to ask us what to do anymore, we'll be able to tell them what they're going to do next."

  • Reply 19 of 49
    froodfrood Posts: 771member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by KDarling View Post


     


    What's wrong with aggregate data?   You can't get anything personal from it.


     


    Even Apple states that:


     



    • "Aggregated data is considered non-personal information for the purposes of this Privacy Policy"


    • "We may collect, use, transfer, and disclose non-personal information for any purpose."



     


    That is something entirely different.  That is *Apple* doing it instead Google.

  • Reply 20 of 49

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Mikeb85 View Post


     


    Google doesn't sell data, they sell advertising space.  Their algorithms then link ads to users, without ever giving away information.  Again, instead of repeating the erroneous status quo why don't you try to fucking learn something?



     


    You're batting for 1,000 today. Google does in fact sell data. I'm simply in awe someone actually claims they don't.

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