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Apple's iPhone Tracking Now a Legal Matter

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As Steve Jobs and Co. keep mum during the growing media frenzy, two Apple users have taken legal action.

Only a few days following the revelation that iPhones and iPads are tracking and logging location data -- without the ability to switch it off, no less -- Vikram Ajjampur and William Devito filed a lawsuit against Apple in a Tampa, Florida federal court. The suit seeks a judge's order to bar the data collection that Cupertino is perpetrating.

The plaintiff's attorney Aaron Mayer told Bloomberg, "We take issue specifically with the notion that Apple is now basically tracking people everywhere they go." Adding, "If you are a federal marshal, you have to have a warrant to do this kind of thing, and Apple is doing it without one."

Filed on April 22, the suit alleges that "it is unconscionable to allow Apple to continue unlawfully and without proper consent tracking Plaintiffs and proposed Class members." It also claims "irreparable injury has resulted and continues to result from Apple's unauthorized tracking of millions of Americans."

The plaintiffs add that the unencrypted data being logged places users at "serious risk of privacy invasions, including stalking" and a warrant should be required to record such information.

The suit is seeking class action status and intends to have the location-tracking feature completely removed by the next version of iOS. But before that occurs, the plaintiffs hope to hold Apple accountable for a violation of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, state laws comparable to the Federal Trade Commission Act -- or "little FTC" acts -- and the plaintiffs and class members' common law rights in uniform ways.

But the lawsuit isn't Apple's -- or Google's -- only problem.

Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan has requested to meet with executives from both companies to address the privacy issues at hand with the tracking software. According to a statement provided by her office, Madigan has asked what information is being recorded, how long it's stored, and for what purposes.

Between the suit and government inquiries, this could have serious implications on the future of data collection.

Not to mention the potential of costly headaches for Apple and Google.

(See also: Apple Secretly Tracking iPhone, iPad Users' Location and iPhone, Android Privacy Outdone by Windows Phones)
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