Apple sued over stealth iOS tracking

Two iOS users have sued Apple for tracking and recording location-based data on mobile devices.

Vikram Ajjampur, an iPhone user in Florida, and William Devito, a New York iPad customer, are currently seeking a judge’s order barring the stealth data collection.

”We take issue specifically with the notion that Apple is now basically tracking people everywhere they go,” Aaron Mayer, an attorney for the plaintiffs, told Bloomberg 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.”

Meanwhile, the Wall Street Journal reported earlier today that the iPhone is collecting and storing location information even when location services are turned off.

To be sure, the location data appear to be garnered using cellphone towers and Wi-Fi access points near a user’s phone. However, the information doesn’t appear to be transmitted back to Apple. 

As expected, a number of U.S. legislators have expressed concern over clandestine data tracking by both Apple and Google, with Senator Al Franken (D-MN) calling upon both companies to participate in an upcoming hearing with the Judiciary Subcommittee on Privacy, Technology and the Law. 

“Recent advances in mobile technology have allowed Americans to stay connected like never before and put an astonishing number of resources at our fingertips,” Franken said in a statement quoted by Ars Technica.

“But the same technology that has given us smartphones, tablets, and cell phones has also allowed these devices to gather extremely sensitive information about users, including detailed records of their daily movements and location. This hearing is the first step in making certain that federal laws protecting consumers’ privacy – particularly when it comes to mobile devices – keep pace with advances in technology.”