On October 17, a federal judge ruled that a class-action lawsuit against Path Inc. can proceed on several counts. Earlier this year, the class-action suit was filed in federal court in northern California for alleged unfair, deceptive, and unlawful business practices that abused consumers' privacy with a mobile device app that collected address book information without notice nor consent, and allegedly had also installed tracking software on mobile devices without notice nor consent.
In the lawsuit, the plaintiffs had identified three areas of harm by the Path app:
"... (1) diminished mobile device resources, such as storage, battery life, and bandwidth; (2) increased, unexpected, and unreasonable risk to the security of sensitive personal information; and (3) future costs to remove embedded code from media files uploaded through the Path App."
While the court rejected two of these three, it agreed with the plaintiffs who had documented the substantial cost to removed the tracking software from their mobile devices. The court upheld that the plaintiffs had sufficient "standing" to proceed with the class-action. This is good because courts have ruled that some prior class-action suits have failed to show the harm.
Below are the court's rulings on each of the ten (10) claims listed in the original complaint:
|Plaintiffs' Claims||Court Ruling On Defendant's Motions To Dismiss
|1. Violations of the Electronic Communications Privacy Act 18 U.S.C. 2510||Granted, but claim can be included in suit if amended|
|2. Violations of the Stored Communications Act||Granted, but claim can be included in suit if amended
|3. Violations of the California Computer Crime Law, California Penal Code § 502||
|4. Violations of California’s Invasion of Privacy Act, California Penal Code 630
||Granted, but claim can be included in suit if amended
|5. Violations of the California Unfair Competition Law, California Business and Professions Code 17200
|6. Invasion of Privacy and Seclusion and Public Disclosure of Private Facts||Granted, but claim can be included in suit if amended
|8. Conversion||Granted, but claim can be included in suit if amended|
|9. Trespass to Personal Property||Granted, but claim can be included in suit if amended|
|10. Unjust Enrichment||Denied|
Download the court order (322 K bytes; Adobe PDF) in Hernandez v Path.