Apple, Samsung and six more companies sued over Carrier IQ scandal

Apple, HTC, Samsung, Motorola, AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile and Carrier IQ have been sued in a federal court by what the lawyers involved have deemed a “cell phone tracking software scandal.” Law firms Sianni & Straite LLP, Eichen Crutchlow Zaslow & McElroy LLP, and Keefe Bartels L.L.C. have jointly filed a class action complaint in a Delaware Federal Court related to the “unprecedented breach of the digital privacy rights of 150 million cell phone users.” The complaint suggests that the aforementioned carriers and vendors violated the Federal Wiretap Act, the Stored Electronic Communications Act, and the Federal Computer Fraud and Abuse Act. The suit of course refers to the companies’ use of Carrier IQ, the carrier and vendor-implemented cell phone spyware discovered recently on a number of handsets from multiple manufacturers. Read on for more.

Carrier IQ’s software is intended to be a “Mobile Service Intelligence solutions that have revolutionized the way mobile operators and device vendors gather and manage information from end users” according to the company, but cell phone users are up in arms now that the software’s capabilities have once again been widely covered across the press and on blogs. Carrier IQ software fell under the spotlight to a lesser degree back in September when the software was discovered on Sprint devices. A number of lawsuits have been filed since then, including a complaint flied last week against HTC, Samsung and Carrier IQ.

“This latest revelation of corporate America’s brazen disregard for the digital privacy rights of its customers is yet another example of the escalating erosion of liberty in this country,” David Straite, one of the lawyers leading this crusade, said in a statement. “We are hopeful that the courts will allow ordinary customers the opportunity to remedy this outrageous breach.” His co-counsel Steve Grygiel added, “Anyone who cares at all about their personal privacy, or the broader constitutional right to privacy, ought to care and care a great deal about this case.” The firms’ joint press release follows below.

Apple, HTC, Samsung, Motorola, AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile and Carrier IQ Sued in Delaware Federal Court in Cell Phone Tracking Software Scandal

WILMINGTON, Del., Dec. 2, 2011 — The law firms of Sianni & Straite LLP of Wilmington, DE, Eichen Crutchlow Zaslow & McElroy LLP of Edison, NJ, and Keefe Bartels L.L.C. of Red Bank, NJ, have today filed a class action complaint in Federal Court in Wilmington, Delaware related to the unprecedented breach of the digital privacy rights of 150 million cell phone users.  The complaint asserts that three cell phone providers (T-Mobile, Sprint and AT&T) and four manufacturers of cell phones (HTC, Motorola, Apple and Samsung) violated the Federal Wiretap Act, the Stored Electronic Communications Act, and the Federal Computer Fraud and Abuse Act.

The carriers and manufacturers were caught last month willfully violating customers’ privacy rights in direct violation of federal law.  A technology blogger in Connecticut discovered that software designed and sold by California-based Carrier IQ, Inc. was secretly tracking personal and sensitive information of the cell phone users without the consent or knowledge of the users.  On Nov. 30, 2011, the United StatesSenate Committee on the Judiciary said in a letter to Carrier IQ that “these actions may violate federal privacy laws.”  It added, “this is potentially a very serious matter.”

David Straite, one of the attorneys leading the action, noted “this latest revelation of corporate America’s brazen disregard for the digital privacy rights of its customers is yet another example of the escalating erosion of liberty in this country.  We are hopeful that the courts will allow ordinary customers the opportunity to remedy this outrageous breach.”  Steve Grygiel, co-counsel for the proposed class, agreed: “anyone who cares at all about their personal privacy, or the broader constitutional right to privacy, ought to care and care a great deal about this case.”  Barry Eichen added, “today’s comment from Larry Lenhart, CEO of Carrier IQ, that his software is somehow good for consumers starkly demonstrates what is at stake.”

A copy of the Class Action Complaint in Pacilli v. Carrier IQ, Inc. can be viewed on the Firms’ websites at http://www.siannistraite.comwww.keefebartels.com, and www.njadvocates.com.

Plaintiffs are represented by Sianni & Straite LLP, a Delaware-based litigation firm with a branch office in New York, Keefe Bartels LLC, a New Jersey-based plaintiffs’ rights trial law firm, and Eichen Crutchlow Zaslow & McElroy LLP, a leading plaintiffs firm with three offices in New Jersey.

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