Apple and T-Mobile Face New Class-Action Lawsuit over Security Breaches
- Author: Jacob Greene
- Posted: 2023-02-21
The plaintiffs in the case are Tigran Ohanian and Regge Lopez. Ohanian presently presides in Moscow, Russia, and Regge Lopez lives in Florida. The case number is 20-CV-05162.
The class-action lawsuit was filed in the United States District Court Southern District of New York. The attorney for the plaintiffs is Aaron J. Solomon from OVED & OVED LLP. The defendants are Apple Inc. and T-Mobile USA, Inc.
The class-action lawsuit was filed on behalf of Apple iPhone users who bought an Apple iPhone and used a T-Mobile SIM card to send and receive iMessages and FaceTime videos. The parties are seeking damages above $5,000,000 which excludes attorney fees, court costs, and interest.
Apple along with T-Mobile is facing a new class-action lawsuit that alleges the companies failed to disclose security issues to consumers. The security issues made it possible for outside parties to access private phone calls, messages, and video calls that were sent through Apple's network. FaceTime and iMessage have jeopardized consumer security and privacy.
Apple released the iOS 12 on September 17, 2018. The software update reportedly resolved the security flaw for iPhone users. However, Apple never informed iPhone consumers, users, or the public that there was a general security flaw with the system that necessitated the iOS software update.
The plaintiffs allege that Apple knew about the unintended disclosures of iMessages and FaceTime video calls to third parties for at least seven years but failed to communicate that information to their users. Moreover, some Apple consumers may have older iPhones which may have been incapable of downloading the iOS 12 software system. Consumers may have also been unaware of the privacy issues.
SIM Card Issues
Normally, you would purchase a new, shiny iPhone, sign-in to the system with your Apple ID, and begin using the product. Your new phone number would be assigned to the SIM card, and no one else should have access to your data.
When you are finished with the product, you purchase a new device with a new SIM card. Your SIM card is not supposed to retain your Apple ID along with your old telephone number. This is the difficulty that the plaintiffs encountered while using the Apple products.
Ohanian was on vacation in New York City. He purchased an iPhone and SIM card from the T-Mobile store in Manhattan. He received a new telephone number and afterward, activated the new iPhone on the T-Mobile network. Upon activation, the telephone number automatically linked to his Apple ID. The new phone number was used on the system for one year.
Meanwhile, Lopez purchased a new iPhone 6 Plus at an Apple store in Queens, New York. He activated the new 6 plus on the T-Mobile network. T-Mobile gave him a SIM card with Ohanian's old telephone number. His Apple ID was automatically associated with the affected phone number.
Ohanian had discarded the old SIM card from his Apple phone. However, Ohanian automatically began receiving private photos, videos, and text messages from Lopez's FaceTime and iMessage communications.
Ohanian had received private photos of young children on his cell phone. Because of privacy concerns, Ohanian attempted to address this issue with Apple. He wrote letters to Tim Cook and spoke to an associate at the corporate store and at the call center.
"Because of the legacy connection, iMessage and FaceTime calls directed to the new owner of a phone number would lead to the iMessage or FaceTime call being unknowingly and improperly misdirected," as stated in the complaint.
The Failures of Apple
The associates simply informed him to discard the SIM card and change phone numbers. Ohanian counteracted that this would be insufficient to fix the security breach and software flaw.
Apple failed to notify plaintiffs or other active iPhone users that they had to manually remove old phone numbers used on their iPhones from their Apple accounts so that those accounts would be blocked from receiving private and unwanted FaceTime Videos and iMessages.
Ohanian experienced emotional trauma and distress. He had to constantly explain why he was receiving messages and photos from unknown parties, women, and children.
Apple nor T-Mobile never required its users to disassociate their Apple ID from their new SIM cards to prevent communication issues. Furthermore, Apple's marketing practices were deceptive. Apple distinguishes itself as having products that are highly secure with encrypted data services.