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iPhone Dev Storm8 Sued Over User Data Harvesting Allegations

iPhone Dev Storm8 Sued Over User Data Harvesting Allegations

November 6, 2009 | By Danny Cowan

November 6, 2009 | By Danny Cowan
More: Console/PC

iPhone developer Storm8 has been served with a class action lawsuit accusing the company of collecting and transmitting its users' phone numbers without prior consent or notification.

Storm8 publishers a lineup of popular multiplayer online role-playing games for the iPhone and iPod Touch, including World War, iMobsters, and Vampires Live.

The suit, filed by Washington resident Michael Turner and reported by technology blog Boing Boing, alleges that Storm8 engaged in the practice of "accessing, collecting, and transmitting without notice or consent the wireless telephone numbers of iPhone users who download Storm8's games to their iPhones via Apple's App Store."

Furthermore, it claims, "The wireless telephone numbers of users' phones are not used or necessary to play any of Storm8's games, yet Storm8 has written the software for all its games in such a way that it automatically accesses, collects, and transmits the wireless telephone number of each iPhone user who downloads any Storm8 game. It does so without disclosing this to any user before or after the fact."

Storm8 acknowledged this behavior in August, claiming that any harvesting action was the result of a bug that had been fixed in a software update.

The suit, however, says that no such activity could take place as the result of a programming error. "Storm8's characterizations of its practice of harvesting phone numbers as a 'bug' and an 'oversight' are false," the lawsuit reads. "Storm8 could not have accidentally harvested its users' phone numbers — it used very specific and specialized software code to do so."

Storm8 has not yet publicly addressed the matter.

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