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U.S. judge dismisses Apple consumer lawsuit over data privacy

A woman holds her new Apple iPhone 5S after buying it at an Apple Store at Tokyo's Ginza shopping district September 20, 2013. REUTERS/Toru
A woman holds her new Apple iPhone 5S after buying it at an Apple Store at Tokyo's Ginza shopping district September 20, 2013. REUTERS/Toru

By Casey Sullivan

(Reuters) - A California federal judge has dismissed a consumer lawsuit over data privacy against Apple Inc, saying the plaintiffs had failed to show they had relied on any alleged company misrepresentations and that they had suffered harm.

The four plaintiffs claimed in 2011 that Apple had violated its privacy policy, saying the iPhone maker had designed its iOS environment to easily transmit personal information to third parties that collect and analyze such data without user consent or detection.

They also claimed that they suffered damages by paying too much money for their iPhones and by losing storage space, among other things, according to court documents.

U.S. District Judge Lucy H. Koh in San Jose, California dismissed the case.

"Plaintiffs must be able to provide some evidence that they saw one or more of Apple's alleged misrepresentations, that they actually relied on those misrepresentations, and that they were harmed thereby," Koh said in the November 25 ruling.

Lawyers for the plaintiffs and Apple either did not respond to requests for comment or declined to comment.

The case is one part of nationwide litigation Koh is overseeing that consolidates 19 related lawsuits.

The case is In re Apple Inc. iPhone/iPad Application Consumer Privacy Litigation, 11-md-02250, U.S. District Court, Northern District of California (San Jose).

(Reporting by Casey Sullivan; Editing by Edwina Gibbs)

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