Apple is asking a federal judge to dismiss a potential class-action lawsuit alleging that the company violated iPhone and iPad users' privacy by transmitting their devices' unique identifiers to app developers.
"This lawsuit never should have been brought. There was never a factual basis for it, never a law broken, and never a person harmed," the company argues in court papers filed this week seeking summary judgment.
Apple argues that the consumers who are suing haven't shown they suffered any harm, and therefore, lack "standing" to proceed in federal court. "Plaintiffs admit they have not lost any money or property," Apple argues. "Plaintiffs admit that they still have no idea whether their 'personal information' or 'location data' was actually 'tracked.' "
The lawsuit dates to 2010, shortly after reports surfaced alleging that developers were able to access iPhone and iPad unique device identifiers -- 40-character strings of letters and numbers.
Earlier this year, U.S. District Court Judge Lucy Koh in San Francisco dismissed a portion of the lawsuit, but ruled that consumers could proceed with claims that Apple violated two California consumer protection laws -- the state Unfair Competition Law and Consumer Legal Remedies Act. Those laws broadly prohibit companies from engaging in unfair or deceptive acts.
The consumers argue that Apple is liable because it allegedly promised users that it takes precautions to protect their privacy. But Apple counters that the consumers haven't shown that the company misrepresented its policies -- or that the consumers relied on any alleged misstatements.
The company says in its legal papers that the consumers admitted in pre-trial depositions that they couldn't recall reading any statements by Apple. The company also says that despite their complaints, the consumers "have continued to purchase or acquire new Apple devices and to use the exact same apps and location-based services at the heart of their claims."