Judge dismisses Apple iOS privacy lawsuit

Judge Lucy Koh finds that the plaintiffs failed to prove they had been taken in by any alleged company misrepresentation or had suffered any harm.

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A federal judge has dismissed a privacy lawsuit that accused Apple off improperly collecting and sharing customers' personal information.

The suit, filed in 2011, accused Apple of violating privacy laws by transmitting a log of user locations collected via iPhone to third parties without user consent, even if customers had turned off geolocation capabilities. The plaintiffs also claimed they had paid more for their iPhones than they would have had they been aware of the data Apple was collecting.

However, US District Court Judge Lucy Koh found that the plaintiffs failed to prove they that had been taken in by any alleged company misrepresentation or had suffered any harm.

"Plaintiffs must be able to provide some evidence that they saw one or more of Apple's alleged misrepresentations, that they actually relied on those misrepresentations, and that they were harmed thereby," Koh said in the November 25 ruling.

"While we are disappointed in the decision and working with our clients to evaluate their options, it is worth noting that Judge Koh denied Apple's motion in so far as Apple claimed there was no injury," Scott Kamber, a lawyer for the plaintiffs, told Bloomberg. "The court's decision did not address the merits of the underlying claims but was limited to the timing of plaintiffs' review of Apple's privacy policy."

The ruling follows a dismissal last month of a class-action lawsuit against Google in which a federal judge concluded that the Web giant's browser cookie-tracking practices had not caused plaintiffs any harm. Earlier this month, the company agreed to pay $17 million to settle claims from 36 states and the District of Columbia that it violated user privacy when circumventing the tracking cookie blockers in Apple's Safari browser.