Group FaceTime iOS 12.1 eavesdropping bug lawsuit is dismissed

Posted:
in iPhone
A U.S. District Court in Houston has granted Apple's request to dismiss a lawsuit over a Group FaceTime bug in iOS 12.1, which at launch allowed third parties to eavesdrop on conversations.

iOS 12 Group FaceTime


The case was dismissed for several reasons, according to court documents. The first is that the plaintiff, lawyer Larry Williams II, argued that Apple was "strictly liable" to him because it failed to give people warnings or instructions about the glitch. Williams alleged that the bug made iOS 12.1 "unreasonably dangerous," according to District Judge Lee Rosenthal, but without asserting facts that could show Apple had foreknowledge of the problem or the possibility that someone would listen in on Williams's conversations.

The court likewise rejected claims of negligence -- since Williams didn't indicate duty of care or how it was breached -- along with charges of fraud and breaching warranty, as he didn't reference any specific promises by Apple.

Williams is still free to submit an amended complaint by June 7. If he fails to do so the case may be dismissed with prejudice, meaning he'll be unable to launch further actions.

In January this year reports emerged that through Group FaceTime, it was possible to listen in on a recipient's FaceTime audio even if the person didn't answer. Apple responded by temporarily disabling Group FaceTime, only restoring it with the arrival of iOS 12.1.4. In some cases, attackers could even stream video from a victim's camera.

Williams alleged that an unknown party was able to listen in while he was taking sworn testimony during a client deposition.

Controversially, Apple was told about the bug over a week before it reacted. The company eventually paid teenager Grant Thompson through its bug bounty program, also contributing to his education.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 18
    If anyone uses any speaker phone anywhere, it is easy for anyone to eavesdrop. Likewise for any conferencing applications.
    jbdragon
  • Reply 2 of 18
    It’s nice to hear that every once in a while a stupid lawsuit is dismissed.
    Solicornchipandrewj5790firelocklostkiwichasmStrangeDaysEsquireCatsAppleExposednetmage
  • Reply 3 of 18
    apple ][apple ][ Posts: 8,654member
    Good.

    This is one of the reasons why I am skeptical about the whole right to repair thing. I don't want to be reading a ton of articles about moronic people suing Apple for ridiculous reasons.
    chasmfotoformatwatto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 18
    FatmanFatman Posts: 291member
    Ambulance chaser - can he quantify damages caused by the glitch? If so, maybe he has a case.
    firelockwatto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 18
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 7,096member

    The court likewise rejected claims of negligence -- since Williams didn't indicate duty of care or how it was breached -- along with charges of fraud and breaching warranty, as he didn't reference any specific promises by Apple.

    So he threw some shit at the wall to see if any of it would stick? Did he ever prove his confidential conversations were actually eavesdropped upon as he claimed?
    Anilu_777chasmAppleExposedfotoformatMplsPjbdragonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 18
    ericthehalfbeeericthehalfbee Posts: 4,073member
    This guy must not be a very good lawyer to have a case dismissed because of procedural issues. 
    chasmEsquireCatsktappefotoformatnetmagelarryjwwatto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 18
    sflocalsflocal Posts: 4,624member
    Apple should sue this ambulance chaser for court fees.
    williamlondonnetmagejbdragonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 18
    AppleExposedAppleExposed Posts: 934unconfirmed, member
    It’s nice to hear that every once in a while a stupid lawsuit is dismissed.

    Too late, the damage has already been done. I've seen several iKnockoff Knights cite this ridiculous lawsuit as proof Apple is spying on us, which in turn causes more idiots to believe it. Meanwhile they use ANDROID.....
    ktappelkruppjbdragonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 18
    jdwjdw Posts: 742member
    The greatest article of the century, if not the millennium would be named thusly:

    Every lawsuit everywhere across the globe was DISMISSED!

    It's time to turn the other cheek and realize life can indeed go on without litigation. 

    No Suing.  It does a Human good.
    edited May 10 watto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 18
    jameskatt2jameskatt2 Posts: 718member
    sflocal said:
    Apple should sue this ambulance chaser for court fees.
    Judges in cases like this may simply award Apple with legal fees owed to them by the plaintiff. No need for another lawsuit.
    netmagewatto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 18
    Johan42Johan42 Posts: 163member
    It’s nice to hear that every once in a while a stupid lawsuit is dismissed.

    Too late, the damage has already been done. I've seen several iKnockoff Knights cite this ridiculous lawsuit as proof Apple is spying on us, which in turn causes more idiots to believe it. Meanwhile they use ANDROID.....
    You talk as if you know what Apple is doing behind the scenes. For all you know they are in bed with the government, like every other company.
  • Reply 12 of 18
    MplsPMplsP Posts: 1,372member
    lkrupp said:

    The court likewise rejected claims of negligence -- since Williams didn't indicate duty of care or how it was breached -- along with charges of fraud and breaching warranty, as he didn't reference any specific promises by Apple.

    So he threw some shit at the wall to see if any of it would stick? Did he ever prove his confidential conversations were actually eavesdropped upon as he claimed?
    Yes, I think that is exactly what this was - an opportunistic lawsuit.

    The plaintiffs in suits like this should be made to pay legal fees so there's at least some disincentive to filing frivolous lawsuits. 
    jbdragonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 13 of 18
    zoetmbzoetmb Posts: 2,447member
    jdw said:
    The greatest article of the century, if not the millennium would be named thusly:

    Every lawsuit everywhere across the globe was DISMISSED!

    It's time to turn the other cheek and realize life can indeed go on without litigation. 

    No Suing.  It does a Human good.
    Do I think there are too many lawsuits (especially in the U.S.) and an enormous number of incredibly trivial and stupid ones?   Of course.   But there are many quite valid lawsuits and without the threat of lawsuits, companies will run havoc endangering our health, the environment and our wallets.  
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 14 of 18
    LordeHawkLordeHawk Posts: 155member
    Johan42 said:
    It’s nice to hear that every once in a while a stupid lawsuit is dismissed.

    Too late, the damage has already been done. I've seen several iKnockoff Knights cite this ridiculous lawsuit as proof Apple is spying on us, which in turn causes more idiots to believe it. Meanwhile they use ANDROID.....
    You talk as if you know what Apple is doing behind the scenes. For all you know they are in bed with the government, like every other company.
    Except for the whole end to end encryption thing.  Apple knows if they can get in, the government will want in too.

    Thanks for your attempt at fear mongering...
    netmageericthehalfbeewatto_cobra
  • Reply 15 of 18
    jdwjdw Posts: 742member
    zoetmb said:
    Do I think there are too many lawsuits (especially in the U.S.) and an enormous number of incredibly trivial and stupid ones?   Of course.   But there are many quite valid lawsuits and without the threat of lawsuits, companies will run havoc endangering our health, the environment and our wallets.  
    The only thing the above sentiment says in the end is this: "we need to maintain the status quo of things."  But it is my contention that to truly change the status quo, you need a major change.  I say we ought to live without lawsuits for a while, then slowly phase them back in.  Really.  We need to push the RESET button on a lot of things.  I wish we could do that with most laws we have.  Then we would need to slowly rebuild everything from scratch.  And during that rebuilding process freedom could reign supreme.  And yes, there would be a fair amount of lawlessness too.  But that is the point of a RESET.  You take the good with the bad.
    edited May 12
  • Reply 16 of 18
    larryjwlarryjw Posts: 374member
    This guy must not be a very good lawyer to have a case dismissed because of procedural issues. 
    As further proof, the lawyer didn’t take reasonable precautions to protect his work product.

    There is this old ethics case where a lawyer met with his client and witnesses at a restaurant to discuss the case at hand. The contents of this meeting was overheard by other restaurant patrons and that information got back to members of opposing side. 

    It is unreasonable for anyone, including attorneys, to use technologies without ensuring confidences are protected. New technologies should be assumed to be unreliable. Use of VPN is required, no or little use of social media is required, and you’re crazy to use Google or Facebook apps, or take phone calls in public places. 


  • Reply 17 of 18
    Johan42Johan42 Posts: 163member
    LordeHawk said:
    Johan42 said:
    It’s nice to hear that every once in a while a stupid lawsuit is dismissed.

    Too late, the damage has already been done. I've seen several iKnockoff Knights cite this ridiculous lawsuit as proof Apple is spying on us, which in turn causes more idiots to believe it. Meanwhile they use ANDROID.....
    You talk as if you know what Apple is doing behind the scenes. For all you know they are in bed with the government, like every other company.
    Except for the whole end to end encryption thing.  Apple knows if they can get in, the government will want in too.

    Thanks for your attempt at fear mongering...
    Couldn’t care less to inflict “fear” into anybody. Thanks for the worthless reply.
  • Reply 18 of 18
    nicholfdnicholfd Posts: 33member
    Johan42 said:

    You talk as if you know what Apple is doing behind the scenes. For all you know they are in bed with the government, like every other company.
    Here is what Apple says they are doing:
    https://www.apple.com/privacy/approach-to-privacy/
    https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT202303

    You can choose to believe them or not.
    watto_cobra
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