A judge for the US District Court for the Northern District of California [official website] ruled on Tuesday that Apple [corporate website] must defend against lawsuits filed by the company's customers under two California consumer protection laws. Judge Lucy Koh dismissed the other defendants in the lawsuit including Google, AdMarvel, Admob, Flurry and Medialets [corporate websites]. She also dismissed claims alleging Apple's violation of customers' privacy rights and claims under federal laws addressing computer fraud, wiretaps and records disclosure. Plaintiffs are allowed to pursue claims that Apple caused them to overpay for their devices. Apple had argued that the user agreement would relieve it from liabilities, but Koh stated that it contained some ambiguity. She also pointed out that the breach of privacy does not even amount to a breach of a social norm but is an ordinary practice of doing business. The lawsuit arose when two computer programmers presented research [CNBC report] April of last year showing that the iPhone and 3G versions of the iPad were collecting location data.
Apple faced a similar lawsuit in South Korea last August. South Korean regulators fined Apple [JURIST report] USD $2,855 for collecting location information from its iPhone and iPad users. It marked the first time Apple was punished for collecting location information. In January, the South Korean authority found evidence [JURIST report] that Google illegally collected private data in the process of producing its popular Street View [website] mapping service.