Apple Comments On iPhone Numbers Being Stolen By Games


UPDATE: Storm8 has responded to the lawsuit's accusations and issued a statement on

Original Story: A class-action lawsuit filed in San Francisco wants to take iPhone game developer Storm8 to task for what it calls "malicious software code." The suit accuses Storm8 of exploiting a backdoor method to retrieve users' phone numbers without their permission in games such as "iMobsters" and "Vampires Live." We reached out to Apple for a comment, and though the representative we spoke wasn't familiar with the case, he did articulate Apple's position on the practice Storm8 has been accused of.

"There is no violating privacy," Apple's VP of iPod and iPhone product marketing Greg Joswiak told MTV News. "That's one of the things we look for, so if that did happen I'm either unaware or unfamiliar."

The lawsuit, which can be read in full over on Boing Boing, does not point any fingers at Apple. It even corroborate's Apple's policy. "Apple does not provide to sellers the personal information of iPhone or iPod Touch users to App Store developers, such as Storm8," the suit reads.

Joswiak explained that any developers found engaging in such practices could face having their apps pulled from the App Store.

"That's one of the things that we're always looking for," Joswiak said. "That's part of the beauty of the way we have the App Store set up, because if you find something like that out we can deal with it. A) We can pull it down. B) We know who the developer is. Remember there's nothing anonymous."

Storm8 currently has dozens of apps downloadable through the App Store, which have not been taken down, and contends that number farming was a "bug" in their games' software. The lawsuit contends that coding capable of pulling numbers would have to be too complex to be an accident. Bug or not, if any of games are found doing such things again, there could have more than consumers to worry about, since Joswiak explicitly called such information farming without consent "verboten."

Have you downloaded or used any Storm8 games from the App Store? Do you think the number pulling could have been caused by a bug? Share your thoughts in the comment section below.