A class-action lawsuit was filed against popular social networking and game sites for allegedly accessing confidential private address book data from mobile App users without user permission.
A consortium of Texas attorneys filed the federal class action in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas (Austin Division) earlier this week.
“Privacy is a fundamental American right. It does not take a back seat to technology or cease to exist whenever someone wishes to enjoy a video game or some other App on his or her wireless mobile phone,” said plaintiffs’ lead counsel Jeff Edwards.
“Unfortunately, it appears that a number of companies in the mobile App industry have put their own growth and profit above their customers’ privacy interests,” Co-counsel Carl Schwenker added.
The lawsuit seeks to protect the privacy rights of mobile App users across the country. According to the lawsuit, an injunction is sought to bar technology firms such as Facebook, Twitter, Yelp and Apple as well as Angry Birds and Cut the Rope games, from accessing confidential data without permission and also seeks damages.
The lawsuit reportedly names eighteen to twenty firms as defendants, also including Beluga, Burbn, Instagram, Foursquare Labs, Gowalla, Foodspotting, Hipster, LinkedIn, Path, Rovio Mobile, ZeptoLab, Chillingo, Electronics Arts, and Kik Interactive.
The suit also names a dozen plaintiffs mostly living in Austin, Texas, who are owners of iPhone, iPad, iPod and Android wireless mobile devices.
The class action is being handled by the Edwards Law Firm, the Law Offices of Carl F. Schwenker and the Jordan Law Firm.
“We hope that these mobile App companies and the App distributors will recognize the inherent value in protecting and respecting their customers’ privacy and will move swiftly to redress the harm to their customers and resolve this matter,” Attorney Dirk Jordan of the Jordan Law Firm said.