When a tech company improperly accesses your personal information to better serve its interests, or doesn’t disclose essential details about how it operates, it might just be that the company owes you money.
And a few of the 90 million Americans who use an iPhone are in luck, as several companies have agreed to pay $5.3 million to customers stemming from a class action lawsuit filed against Apple in 2012. Developers for Twitter, Yelp, Instagram and other companies allegedly violated user privacy by mining customer contact lists on iOS devices between 2009 and 2012. Using the “Find My Friends” feature of several apps, contact lists were stored on company servers without customer consent.
Yelp is a primary culprit. A lawyer for the company argued in a San Francisco court that the location and review service needed to access users' contact lists to identify other customers. The judge obviously disagreed, but noted that Apple allowed the privacy violation on its iOS devices in the first place: