18 Firms Sued Over App Privacy

http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2401625,00.asp

The two most important facts from this article are, “Apps that access the address book on peoples’ mobile phones has resulted in a privacy lawsuit that names Path, Facebook, Twitter, and Apple, among others.

and,

“Apps from these firms “surreptitiously harvest, upload and illegally steal the owner’s address book data without the owner’s knowledge or consent,” according to the lawsuit, which was filed Monday in Texas district court. These uploads “have, quite literally, turned the address book owners’ wireless mobile devices into mobile radio beacons broadcasting and publicly exposing the unsuspecting device owner’s address book data to the world.”

This should not be surprising considering social media companies wanting more info from their users and their users becoming increasingly stingy with how they use social media outlets like Facebook and Twitter. The lawsuit demonstrates the strain between a perceived right to privacy and the real implications of utilizing a private service that generates most of its revenue from leveraging or selling its users information in some way shape or form to advertisers and companies. 

This lawsuit could be important and go up the ladder to higher courts unless both parties can come away with something. Perhaps it may eventually set a precedent that will dictate just how much information social media services can take from a user without their consent. 

Either way, this will definitely be interesting to watch. How do you feel about social media companies going into your phone’s address book and contacts with minimal or no consent and accessing your private information? 

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