Twitter (And 17 Others) Being Sued For Privacy Violations

Twitter is one defendant among 17 being named in a privacy lawsuit. The company and its co-defendants are being accused by 13 individuals of uploading user address books on smartphones without permission or notification.

The lawsuit is a direct result of the controversy around Path – and eventually dozens of other companies – uploading and storing users’ address books when users were promoted to connect with their friends, without permission.

Twitter was not immune from the privacy advocates’ wrath, as it was revealed last month that Twitter, too, was guilty of this practice, uploading and storing users’ address books for 18 months.

CNET has the details about the current class-action lawsuit against 17 tech companies who have been accused of this privacy violation.

The 13 individuals, most of whom are from Austin, Texas, are seeking class-action status in their suit against the following 17 tech companies: Path, Twitter, Apple, Facebook, Beluga, Yelp, Burbn, Instagram, Foursquare Labs, Gowalla, Foodspotting, Hipster, LinkedIn, Rovio Mobile, ZeptoLab UK, Chillingo, Electronic Arts, and Kik.

The lawsuit claims that billions of contacts from tens of millions of smartphone owners have been uploaded without their permission:

“The surreptitious data uploads–occurring over both cellular networks and open, public wireless access nodes in homes, coffee shops, restaurants, bars, stores, and businesses all across the nation–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.”

Representatives from Twitter have declined to comment on the suit, but Hani Durzy of LinkedIn says the suit is “baffling” because their apps don’t do what the suit claims they do.

(Gavel image via Shutterstock)

Publish date: March 19, 2012 © 2020 Adweek, LLC. - All Rights Reserved and NOT FOR REPRINT