Here’s More Drudge Work for Apple Lawyers

Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) will not be allowed to escape charges that it collected data from customers’ iPhones without facing a lawsuit, a judge has ruled, while also warning the company to refrain from “game play.”

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A lawyer representing several customers said Apple collected data on customers’ geographical locations through applications on iPhones even after users said they didn’t want to share the information. Apple had tried to dismiss the case through a court filing that the customers failed to identify a “single, concrete injury inflicted on any one of the plaintiffs here, much less one that is traceable to defendant Apple Inc.”

However, U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh allowed some of the claims to advance to the pretrial fact-finding stage. “I’m going to lift any stay of discovery, and discovery is going forward,” she said. She also threatened Apple with sanctions if it tried to impede proceedings. “I don’t want any obstruction here,” she said.

The judge has asked Apple to start turning over relevant documents to lawyers by May 17.

Apple says in its privacy statement that it collects “non-personal information” that is not directly associated with individuals.

Separately, a New York resident has filed a class-action lawsuit against the company, accusing it of double-billing customers for downloads made from the iTunes Store. Robert Herskowitz alleges Apple charged him twice for purchasing a single song and cited terms of service when he asked for a refund. Terms of sale specific to iTunes say all purchases are ineligible for refund.

Herskowitz said he wants Apple to pay back everyone who has ever been “double billed” for an app or content downloads. “This is a nationwide putative class action for damages and injunctive relief relating to Apple’s unlawful policy and practice of refusing to refund Apple’s customers who have been ever charged for purchases of products and Iservices from Apple’s ‘e-Stores’ in violation of the customer agreements governing those transactions,” the lawsuit reads.

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