Bloomberg reported that U.S. Magistrate Judge Paul S. Grewal has ordered Apple to reveal exactly how it’s complying with previous orders to hand over evidence in a lawsuit that accused the company of collecting users’ location data. It will also have to submit documents related to its process for reviewing apps. Earlier this week, Apple’s lawyer, Ashlie Beringer, told the court that the decision to not provide emails from Steve Jobs in an order from November was a “mistake.”
“Luckily for the plaintiffs, Apple has provided more than enough evidence itself to suggest to the court that it has not fully complied with the court’s order,” Grewal wrote in the March 6 order. “In light of Apple’s performance in this case, the court cannot rely on its representations that this time it really has or will produce all responsive documents.”
According to the report, Grewal said in his order today that “it was ‘unacceptable’ that Apple waited more than three months to verify whether it complied with his November order to turn over documents.”
Apple has said previously that it has guarded some documents in the case to protect customers from harm if the documents were “inadvertently released to the public or fell into the wrong hands.”
Beringer said she and her team of lawyers reviewed more than 8,000 e-mails over the previous weekend and determined that they should turn over messages involving Apple’s late co-founder Jobs, Phil Schiller, its marketing chief, and Scott Forstall, the former head of mobile software, among others.
The result is Apple will now have to give a “detailed account” by March 8 of how it went about gathering documents it was ordered to submit to the plaintiffs:
As an immediate remedy to the documents at issue, Grewal ordered Apple to submit a detailed account by March 8 of how it collects and evaluates the documents it’s required to give the plaintiffs. The company must identify search terms it used, the dates of searches, individuals subject to the searches, and how many documents it turns up, he said.
The ruling will also provide the plaintiff’s lawyers with rights to see documents related to the Apple’s app review process:
In Grewal’s order, plaintiffs lawyers also won the right to see Apple documents concerning its process of reviewing applications for its mobile devices. The company redacted the information in part, it said, because the information is “incredibly sensitive and valuable and is a closely guarded trade secret,” according to a court filing.
Bloomberg reported that plaintiffs in the case are also seeking a class-action status from Grewal for Apple’s failure to tell consumers it collected personal data and allowed third parties to do the same.
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