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Lawsuit alleges Apple violated consumer fraud laws which was filed in Chicago

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Iphone users are unhappy with apple
FILE - A customer is seen setting up his new iPhone 7 Plus (R) as he switches from the iPhone 6 at an Apple Store in Chicago, Illinois, during the release of the Apple iPhone 7, Sept. 16, 2016. VOA
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IPhone owners from several states sued Apple Inc. for not disclosing sooner that it issued software updates deliberately slowing older-model phones so aging batteries lasted longer, saying Apple’s silence led them to wrongly conclude that their only option was to buy newer, pricier iPhones.

The allegations were in a lawsuit filed Thursday in Chicago federal court on behalf of five iPhone owners from Illinois, Ohio, Indiana and North Carolina, all of whom say they never would have bought new iPhones had Apple told them that simply replacing the batteries would have sped up their old ones. The suit alleges Apple violated consumer fraud laws.

A similar lawsuit was filed Thursday in Los Angeles. Both suits came a day after Apple confirmed what high-tech sleuths outside the company already observed: The company had deployed software to slow some phones. Apple said it was intended as a fix to deal with degraded lithium-ion batteries that could otherwise suddenly die.

“Our goal is to deliver the best experience for customers, which includes overall performance and prolonging the life of their devices,” an Apple statement said. It said it released the fix for iPhone 6, iPhone 6s and iPhone SE and later extended it to iPhone 7. Apple didn’t respond to a message Friday seeking comment.

The Chicago lawsuit suggests Apple’s motive may have been sinister, though it offers no evidence in the filing.

“Apple’s decision to purposefully … throttle down these devices,” it says, “was undertaken to fraudulently induce consumers to purchase the latest” iPhone.

Plaintiff Kirk Pedelty, of North Carolina, contacted Apple as his frustration grew. However, the lawsuit says: “Nobody from Apple customer support suggested that he replace his battery to improve the performance of his iPhone. … Frustrated by slowdowns and intermittent shutdowns of his iPhone 7, Pedelty purchased an iPhone 8.”

The lawsuit seeks class-action status to represent thousands of iPhone owners nationwide.

Creative Strategies analyst Carolina Milanesi said she believes the tech giant was seeking to help consumers extend the lives of the older phones — though it would have been better to disclose what it was doing and why right away.

“Even if you are trying to do something good for your customers, it is going to be perceived as you are sneaking around behind their backs if you don’t tell them about it first,” she said. (VOA)

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Cops Can Unlock The Security Password In The Upcoming IPhones

The FBI says it sought Apple's help in unlocking the encrypted iPhone

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Cops Can Unlock The Security Hole In Upcoming IPhones
Cops Can Unlock The Security Hole In Upcoming IPhones, pixabay

The upcoming iPhones and iPads will plug a security hole that the police and law enforcement officials have used to crack into the highly-secure devices in the past, Apple has said.

According to a report in The Fortune on Wednesday, Apple will soon update its current operating system that runs iPads and iPhones.

“Apple will add ‘USB Restricted Mode’, an option that disables the USB port for any kind of data transfer or interactions if a device hasn’t been unlocked in the previous hour,” said the report.

Any attempt to break into the device would need to plug it into a hardware-cracking device very quickly.

In most cases, law enforcement would be unable to react fast enough.

“We’re constantly strengthening the security protections in every Apple product to help customers defend against hackers, identity thieves, and intrusions into their personal data,” Apple said.

Cops
Cops, pixabay

Apple has had a strained relationship with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) in the past when the US agency asked the tech giant to give it access to iPhones owned by terrorists and shooters.

Apple refused the FBI’s request to help it unlock the encrypted iPhone of the terrorist who executed the attack in San Bernardino, California in December 2015 that left 14 dead.

Apple said it would not break its customer’s trust and argued that the device’s encryption could not be defeated — even by the company.

The FBI later obtained a hacking tool that allowed the agency to access the contents of the terrorist’s iPhone.

A US court in 2017 allowed the FBI to keep secret the information regarding the tool that was used to hack iPhone 5C used by terrorist Syed Farook.

In another case, the FBI said it sought Apple’s help in unlocking the encrypted iPhone used by Devin P. Kelley who killed 26 people at a rural Texas church but Apple refused to help.

Refuting the FBI’s claim, Apple said it reached out to the bureau “immediately” to offer assistance in getting into the gunman’s iPhone and expedite its response to any legal process.

The data of most Apple devices is encrypted and can only be accessed by entering the correct passcode. If the wrong iPhone passcode is entered 10 times, its data is automatically erased.

Apple Gadgets
Apple Gadgets, pixabay

In its bi-annual transparency report in May, Apple said the governments around the world sent requests for device information on 29,718 Apple devices, with India asking for 27 device requests in the July-December 2017 period.

Also read: Apple Brings FIFA World Cup Closer to You

The governments and private parties also requested information on 3,358 Apple accounts and data was provided in 82 per cent of cases. (IANS)