Several app makers, including Twitter, Yelp, and Instagram, are offering $5.3 million to settle a five-year-old suit alleging that they violated users’ privacy.
Their crime? Using the “Find Friends” feature improperly. The companies were accessing iOS contact lists and storing them in company servers without making it clear to app users they were doing it.
The companies have been arguing since 2012 that the information was necessary to serve the customers’ needs. But District Judge Jon Tigar told them in no uncertain terms that this wasn’t enough of an excuse:
Fundamentally, this case is about whether Apple’s conduct and that of application developers violated community norms of privacy. A ‘reasonable’ expectation of privacy is an objective entitlement founded on broadly based and widely accepted community norms.
If you’re one of the app users in question, you probably won’t see a large payday from this. Check this unofficial claim Q&A to find out if you’re even eligible.
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