updated 09:55 am EST, Fri November 6, 2009
Raises iPhone privacy issues
A California iPhone developer, Storm8, has been accused of spying on iPhone owners, according to court documents. A lawsuit was recently submitted on behalf of Washington resident Michael Turner, charging Storm8 with several violations including breaches of contract, the California Computer Crime Law and the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act. On August 26th, says Turner, the company openly admitted that its games had been illicitly collecting phone numbers.
Some titles from Storm8 include iMobsters, Kingdoms Live and Ninjas Live.
In response to initial complaints, the company issued support e-mail suggesting that the harvesting was an unintentional bug which has since been corrected. Such an argument is invalid, Turner proposes, because it is impossible to gather phone numbers from iPhones without specialized code. Storm8 has not so far responded to the lawsuit.
Turner is seeking a jury trial for the case as well as class action status. Compensation demands include damages, legal fees, the redistribution of any illegal profits, and a series of blocks on using existing phone numbers or collecting future ones. The outcome of the case could be significant to iPhone privacy concerns, as it implies that apps violating personal privacy can still slip by Apple's approval process.