Apple to Explain Document Production in Suit

Photographer: Tomohiro Ohsumi/Bloomberg

A customer tries an Apple Inc. iPhone 5. Close

A customer tries an Apple Inc. iPhone 5.

Close
Open
Photographer: Tomohiro Ohsumi/Bloomberg

A customer tries an Apple Inc. iPhone 5.

Apple Inc (AAPL).’s lawyers appeared before a judge to explain how the company is complying with a court order to turn over evidence in a privacy lawsuit after the iPhone maker was scolded for “unacceptable” conduct.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Paul S. Grewal in San Jose, California, scheduled the hearing today because “significant questions remain” about whether Apple made a “reasonable effort to respond” to requests from the plaintiffs’ lawyers, he wrote in a filing.

Apple is accused in the lawsuit of improperly collecting data on the locations of customers through iPhones, even after the device’s geo-location feature was turned off, and sharing personal information with third parties.

Grewal told Cupertino, California-based Apple to submit a detailed account of how it collects and evaluates the documents it’s required to give the plaintiffs. The company was required to identify search terms it used, the dates of searches, individuals subject to the searches, and how many documents it turned up. Apple has produced more than 2,000 additional documents since Grewal’s March 6 order.

This month, Apple lost its bid to dismiss the case after U.S. District Judge Lucy H. Koh, who is handling the case with Grewal, said in a ruling that she was “disturbed” to learn that in its court filings seeking the dismissal, Apple relied on documents that it was required, and failed, to disclose to lawyers for the customers.

‘Unacceptable’ Conduct

Calling the company’s conduct “unacceptable,” Koh said “the court cannot rely on Apple’s representations about its compliance with its discovery obligations.”

Separate from the document requests, plaintiffs are also seeking permission to proceed with the lawsuit on a group basis. Apple argued class-action status should be denied because plaintiffs haven’t shown that any users had personal information collected without their consent, and as a result, can’t show they suffered any harm.

The case is In re Apple Inc. (AAPL) iPhone/iPad Application Consumer Privacy Litigation, 11-md-02250, U.S. District Court, Northern District of California (San Jose).

To contact the reporter on this story: Joel Rosenblatt in San Francisco at jrosenblatt@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Hytha at mhytha@bloomberg.net

Press spacebar to pause and continue. Press esc to stop.

Bloomberg reserves the right to remove comments but is under no obligation to do so, or to explain individual moderation decisions.

Please enable JavaScript to view the comments powered by Disqus.