Who says that having too many apps on your phone is a bad thing? In this instance, it may even give you a small payday.
Developer of apps like Twitter, Yelp, Instagram and others accessed personal information to better serve their company. This is a a privacy violation for their users and has become a class action lawsuit. If you used an iOS device between 2009 and 2012, you contact list may have been collected without your consent.
These companies has agreed to pay $5.3 million to customers who affected. Since over 90 million Americans use iPhones, the billed amount you may receive may not be high at all. Customers who believe that they were involved are encouraged to check the unofficial claim Q&A.
One of the main apps who violated their customer’s information was Yelp. Recently, the company’s lawyer appeared in court to explain Yelp’s reasoning behind their actions. The lawyer stated that they needed the location information of their customers in order to identify other customers.
However, the judge did not agree with his comments and noted in court that “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.”
This is not the only time that a company has been sued for using their customer’s information without their permission. In fact, it is becoming increasingly common. Amazon was recently hit was a $70 million lawsuit to pay back parents of children who purchased items on their site. Facebook also refunded their customers after they used their photos without their permission. Each affected user was given a $15 check.
With the popularity of social media, this unfortunately is becoming a social norm. Even though our lives are constantly invested in the online world, still be smart about what you are doing.
Sarah Harley is a Hufflepuff living in the NYC area. When she is not talking to random animals or collecting stickers, she is a comedy writer working in television production. Tweet her at @lumpyspacederp