13 individuals’ sued 18 mobile app makers accused of automatically uploading user address books without permission with a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court in Austin, Texas. Apple, Beluga, Burbn, Chillingo, Electronic Arts, Facebook, Foodspotting, Foursquare Labs, Gowalla, Hipster, Instagram, Kik, LinkedIn, Path, Rovio Mobile, Twitter, Yelp, and ZeptoLab UK are being sued.
Here’s an excerpt from the lawsuit:
Literally billions of contacts from the address books of tens of millions of unsuspecting wireless mobile device owners have now been accessed and stolen. 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.
“Yes, we’ve seen the suit,” a LinkedIn spokesperson said in a statement. “It’s baffling, because quite simply, our mobile apps do not do what is alleged in the suit.” It would not surprise me if Facebook and others end up in the same boat.