updated 07:19 pm EDT, Fri May 4, 2012
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A lawsuit alleging Apple improperly collected data on iPhone owners will go forward, a judge ruled today. Bloomberg is reporting that the judge rejected Apple's claims that plaintiffs in the case had no standing. The suit centers around last year's revelation that iOS devices were collecting location data while in use, in order to optimize the devices' connective capabilities. The data was never actually transmitted anywhere, but plaintiffs in the trial allege that the data collection continued even after users indicated that they wanted to opt out.
Apple had tried to dismiss the case, arguing that the plaintiffs had been unable to identify any "concrete injury inflicted on any one of the plaintiffs here, much less one that is traceable to [Apple]." The judge in the case rejected this argument, ruling that the case must go forward, and threatening Apple with sanctions should the company prove to be anything less than forthcoming in the proceedings.
Apple's privacy statement holds that, when it does collect data, the data it collects is non-personal and limited to zip codes, area codes, and locations of product usage, all in the aim of improving products, services, and advertising. When controversy erupted over the data collection last year, then-CEO Steve Jobs was quick to point out that Apple was not tracking users.