Apple Inc was accused of invasion of privacy and computer fraud by two customers who claim in a lawsuit that the company is secretly recording movements of iPhone and iPad users.
Vikram Ajjampur, an iPhone user in Florida, and William Devito, a New York-based iPad customer, sued the company on April 22 in federal court in Tampa, Florida, seeking a judge's order barring the alleged data collection.
The complaint cited a report last week by two computer programmers claiming that Apple's iOS4 operating system is logging latitude-longitude coordinates along with the time a spot is visited. The programmers said Apple devices are collecting about a year's worth of location data. Apple hasn't commented on the matter since the April 20 report was released.
"We take issue specifically with the notion that Apple is now basically tracking people everywhere they go," Aaron Mayer, an attorney for the plaintiffs, said in a telephone interview. "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."
Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan asked to meet with Apple and Google Inc executives to discuss reports that their products collect information about users' locations. Madigan wrote to both companies asking what information they store, its purposes and for how long.
Steve Dowling, a spokesman for Cupertino, California-based Apple, didn't immediately return a call seeking comment on the suit.
The plaintiffs are seeking to represent a group of U.S. customers whose iPhones and iPads have the operating system that allegedly collects location data, Mayer said. About one-third to one-half of the country's 60 million iPhone users could be part of the class, he said.
The Apple customers said they were unaware of the tracking system and never consented to it. Even if they disable the global-positioning function on their devices, the tracking system keeps working, according to the complaint.
- With inputs from Agencies