Just recently, a New York judge rejected Apple Inc. and its co-defendant T-Mobile USA Inc.’s argument to arbitrate consumer disputes behind closed doors. According to the judge, the consumer privacy lawsuit must continually be fought by Apple in open court.
Usually, companies prefer arbitration since it is a quicker option. They also have a say in who the judges should be and the rulings are final with only limited rights to appeal.
Unfortunately, US District Judge Lorna G. Schofield in New York rejected Apple and T-Mobile’s arguments that the provisions in the latter’s terms and conditions require the disputes from consumers to be arbitrated.
“Apple is not a party to the T-Mobile agreement, and Apple has not shown that it can enforce it.” ruled Schofield.
The case in discussion refers to the claim by consumers on a certain iPhone operating system flaw that when paired with a recycled T-Mobile phone number, gave users unauthorized access to previous communications of its users. The breach violates a promise made by both companies that iMessage and Facetime features are secure.
The lawyers for the consumers hailed the judge’s ruling as a victory. They were pleased that Schofield “recognized the significant merit and far-reaching impact of plaintiffs’ claims for a broad class of iPhone users.”