Apple Can Be Sued for Storage Space on Mobile Devices

Apple currently faces a lawsuit over the complaints about the large amount of storage that its new iOS 8 takes up on iPhones and iPads. The users of the devices complain about the misrepresentation of the storage capacity.

The lawsuit claims that the advertising of the tech giant fails to fully represent the total amount of storage available. In addition, it is alleged that iOS 8 made it worse, as the operating system takes up a larger amount of space without informing users before upgrade. Indeed, up to ¼ of the advertised storage capacity of iPhones and iPads will be consumed by iOS 8 and therefore be unavailable for consumers if they buy those with iOS 8 installed.

The case was started by two users, who claim to have bought iPhones and iPads back in 2014 advertised with 16GB of storage, but found out that they have access to much less. The complainants are going to turn the lawsuit into a class action and are seeking $5m in damages.

Apparently, it is normal for consumer electronics makers to advertise the total storage capacity of their devices without mentioning how much of it will be taken up by the pre-loaded software. The problem with Apple is that the company also prevents customers from adding more memory via microSD cards and instead offers a pay-for iCloud storage service when storage on the device is full.

It is known that the company’s latest iOS update, advertised as the “biggest iOS release ever”, was beset with issues that forced Apple to pull its health app and service. Moreover, the iOS 8 update also led to connectivity issues for some mobile devices, and was reissued twice with bug fixes.

The main problem faced by most users was the size of the update – the overwhelming majority of users could not install the new iOS when it was issued, because it required a lot of free space on internal storage capacity. Thus, the users were forced to delete large amounts of information from their devices to try a new iOS. In addition, the total amount of space available to the users compared with iOS 7 reduced significantly, according to the plaintiffs.

The lawyers point out that Apple has faced and defeated similar lawsuits earlier: for example, three years ago in Canada, Apple was accused of misrepresenting the amount of storage available to users on the iPod. Apple was not the only company that faced such claims – Microsoft was also sued over a similar issue with its Surface tablets.

Google Faced Fines in Netherlands

The authorities of the Netherlands may fine Google about €15 million over Internet privacy breaches. It turned out that Google is failing to abide by the data protection law of the country by collecting users’ private data including browsing history and location for targeting advertisement.

The Dutch Data Protection Authority (DPA) has given the tech giant two months to fix the way it handles the information collected from individual users of its services. Besides Netherlands, the company has also been under investigation in the UK, Spain, Germany, France, and Italy over the way it handles user information after enforcing new company guidelines 2 years ago.

The tech giant collects information from search engine queries, users’ emails, intermediary websites tracking or “cookies”, location information and even YouTube browsing in order to target users with ads in future. The Dutch regulator claims such data collection is taking place without Google adequately informing the Internet users in advance. Moreover, Google doesn’t ask for consent, which is a violation of the country’s legislation.

According to DPA’s head, the practices of the tech giant catch the country in an invisible web of their personal details, without telling them or asking their permission. The Data Protection Authority ordered Google to start informing Internet users of its actions and to ask for consent. Otherwise, the company would face fines of up to €15 million.

In response, Google said it was very disappointed with the order of the Dutch regulator, because the tech giant had already made a number of changes to its privacy policy when trying to address DPA’s concerns. Nevertheless, Google has already introduces some proposals for further changes in its policy to the group of EU data protection authorities.