Apple's "location-gate" scandal is not yet one week old, but it has already landed the company in federal court.
Late last week, iPhone user Vikram Ajjampur of Florida and iPad user William Devito of New York state sued Apple for violating the federal computer fraud statute and other laws by allegedly collecting detailed information about their whereabouts. They are seeking class-action status.
"It is unconscionable to allow Apple to continue unlawfully and without proper consent tracking plaintiffs and proposed class members," they allege in a complaint filed in U.S. District Court in Tampa, Fla. "If Apple wanted to track the whereabouts of each of its products' users, it should have obtained specific, particularized informed consent such that Apple consumers across America would not have been shocked and alarmed to learn of Apple's practices in recent days."
The lawsuit draws on a highly publicized report issued last Wednesday by researchers Alasdair Allan and Pete Warden, who said that iPhones and iPads store records of every location of users in a consolidated.db file.
Ajjampur and Devito are seeking damages and an injunction requiring Apple to "stop tracking its products' users."
In addition to the lawsuit, Apple is facing scrutiny on Capitol Hill. On Monday, Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.), chair of a new privacy subcommittee, reportedly asked Apple and Google executives to testify at a May 10 hearing about mobile privacy. Furthermore, Rep. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) last week sent Apple CEO Steve Jobs a host of questions about the devices' tracking capabilities, including whether Apple ever notified consumers that their devices stored a record of their locations.