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Developer spying on iPhone gamers?

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.

by MacNN Staff



  1. macnixer

    Joined: Dec 1969


    actually many apps violate

    personal privacy terms. If you use Shazam, you will notice that it does not allow you to switch off the location feature while it does actually collect this data. Then again, if you have noticed the data in the logs that apple collects when it sends out those logs when you sync your phone - it contains not only your number but also the numbers you dialed etc. Look for ATDT in the files. Say what, your privacy is already compromised.

  1. Interlard

    Joined: Dec 1969


    The US needs privacy laws

    The US desperately needs its first privacy laws. Our European friends are already protected from this type of spyware.

    In the US, the law allows a free-for-all for anyone to collect whatever info they like about you, your friends & family and to do whatever they like with it. Mostly you get a ton of annoying junk mail that you have to cart down to the recycling, but companies can legally do whatever they like to your data. Just as long as they bury the explanation in legalese on their website.

    In the EU, it's just plain illegal to steal someone's private information, or lie about why you collected it in the first place.

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