iPhone Customers File Class Action Lawsuit

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App Store – Just a Big Monopoly?

Turns out, not all Apple lovin iPhone owners are all that thrilled with Apple’s App Store which only allows Apple Approved apps to be allowed into it’s marketplace.

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So those customers got together and filed a Class Action Lawsuit that the Supreme court plans to rule on in late June.

A lawsuit Apple hopes the nations Highest Court throws neatly out the window.

And, I’m with Apple on this one.

Those customers need to become Android users post, haste.

One of the biggest reasons for Apple only allowing approved apps onto it’s marketplace is because Apple is really, really good at reviewing apps so that no app in its marketplace has malware on it, unlike those one with let’s say and Android would find on the Google Play Store.

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Just this holiday weekend it was discovered that Google’s Play Store had apps on it’s marketplace that ended being installed 500,000 + times by its users.

Apple generally works really hard to make sure something like that does not happen before the app is ever offered on it’s marketplace. Apple does charge developers a 30% fee for each app offered once approved in its marketplace.

Technically, that is not a monopoly. Almost all apps from Google Play to the App Store are the same, the only difference is generally related to compatibility, trusted developers and those that contain malware.

David Frederick, a lawyer representing the customers had this to say:

“Apple’s intentionally closed system prevents competition, which enables the App Store to collect a higher price than if Apple were forced to entice app seekers in a competitive market.”  

Not sure if David has any Apple products or not, I do and side by side, almost all of the apps offered on both Google Play and the App store are the same.

Each marketplace is built specifically for different platforms.

Suing Apple over what it allows onto it’s marketplace is the very equivalent of telling Apple to change its entire platform.

Daniel Wall, a lawyer for Apple, says the company, is not stifling competition but had, “created a dynamic new industry where none had existed before, which drove an explosion of development and innovation in mobile apps.”

And, for the last 40 years, the courts have held that when there’s an illegal monopoly, only the direct purchaser can sue for damages.

Which means, you can’t sue Apple.

Only the app developers could sue, because they are the actual buyers of Apple’s distribution service not those of us that simply own an Apple product.

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals however, reversed that.

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So Apple is taking matters all the way to the top.

And for once the Trump administration is doing something intelligent, siding with Apple on this. The Justice Department said it would be particularly hard to figure out whether the App Store overcharges, since the prices are set by tens of thousands of app developers and not Apple, if you wanted to be technical about it.

And I do love technicalities.

Guess we’ll all have to wait until June to see how the court rules this go around.

Cristal M Clark

IOS users can find The Crime Shop on Apple News

@thecrimeshop on twitter

And https://gab.ai/thecrimeshop

App Store vs the Vigilante App -Beneficial or Deeply Concerning?

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Vigilante App

The makers of the App ask:

“What if everyone within a quarter mile of every reported crime were immediately made aware of it? What if there were a camera on every crime? What if transparency existed, if we all knew where crime was occurring and how it was being resolved? Would crime as we know it still exist?

Last week the Vigilante App was released to New York, its design is simple: Alert nearby users of crimes that are in progress as they are reported to 911.

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It was pulled from the App Store because Apple was concerned about the app.

The idea of the app is that mass surveillance makes the world a better, fairer place through transparency.

It’s a great idea but does it make the the world any better let alone any safer? Apple was right to remove the app because the app itself while it is intended for the good of the world carries numerous risks to not only law enforcement but to suspects, victims and innocent bystanders by those seeking some form of vigilante justice, those that mean to harm law enforcement, and those that just want to watch the world burn.

The developers of the app have said that “the closed system excludes the community, while the open system informs and empowers citizens.”

It also empowers criminals and those with ill intent.

A few months back I was listening to police chatter in Denver, during a crime that was in progress, one of the suspects had dropped a cell phone. When the officers who were chasing the suspects found the phone they immediately looked at it and realized that the suspects had a police scanner app on it.

The suspects were alerted to the officers moves through the app and it forced the officers to go to a secure channel so that they could continue the pursuit.

Anyone of those suspects could have if they were heavily armed, in turn because of the scanner app, ambushed and harmed officers. Thankfully, that did not happen but because the suspects knew where the police were looking and searching, they got away.

The questions about transparency the app’s developers ask are great questions. However, a better set of questions are, is society ready for all of the transparency and can they be responsible with it?

Another big concern with the app is the fear that some users will head to active crimes and start pod-casting live to social media as the crime unfolds. That carries with it, quite a few risks as well.

Even if people just show up to record an active crime and mean no harm, it can still cause harm. What’s more is that, untrained individuals recording crimes as they happen might end up hurt. Either way, it really does not create any more or less proof of police bias because it’s a moment in time, not an entire career.

Not to mention that it could potentially damage the defense and/or prosecution of a case. Jury pools could become contaminated and the like.

We have criminals that are already using police scanner apps to evade justice.

Two officers were just murdered in Iowa, killed ambush style, what happens when someone who wants to kill cops gets his hands on the app?

What happens when someone decides he wants to do the world some good and kills a suspected rapist or pedophile, robber, gang member or any suspected criminal for that matter?

The idea of transparency is truly great, with that comes a great responsibility of both the developers and end users.

The questions are, are we ready for this much transparency, can we be trusted with it and can we be responsible with it?

Cristal M Clark

IOS users can find The Crime Shop on Apple News

@thecrimeshop