Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) has now been accused of illegally collecting and selling its customers’ personal information. Three Individuals filed a hefty class action lawsuit against the iPhone maker, in the Boston Office of Massachusetts District Court, alleging the company of asking for the Zip code while making a credit card purchases at stores.
Collecting personal information an offence under state law
Under the State law, no organisation can ask a user to submit any personal information unrelated to purchase if they are making a credit card transaction. But, Apple gathered the Zip codes of the customers, which breaches the state law, and is selling that data to third party companies for marketing purpose, according to the plaintiffs.
“To consummate each purchase, plaintiffs elected to use their credit card as their chosen form of payment,” a copy of the suit obtained by the website Patently Apple alleges. The copy states that all three plaintiffs were asked to enter their personal identification information associated with the credit card along with their full and complete Zip codes. It lawsuit noted that Apple did not allow them to make purchases without rendering full information.
“Apple is not required by credit card issuers to require this information from consumers,” the suit says, indicating that the company collected the information neglecting the state law.
A mass action lawsuit
Three people who filed the case against Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) are Adam Christensen, Jeffrey Scolnick, and William Farrell, who purchased items from Apple retail stores in Massachusetts between 2012 and 2013.
Also, according to the plaintiffs, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) accepts on its website that they reserve the right to make available some personal information of the customers to the strategic partners that are associated with Apple to offer product and service, or help in marketing products to customers.
If court rules against Apple, the company would be held responsible for committing action that is considered as an “unfair and deceptive trade practice” by the state of Massachusetts. Plaintiffs demand that Apple should pay over $75 per violation as well as interest on the damages, litigation expenses, attorney’s fees and “such other and further relief as may be just and proper.” Also, the iPhone maker will have to stop gathering PII across the state.
If Apple is found to breach the law then anyone, who gave their zip code to the company in Massachusetts, could demand relief, as well.