Storm8 is the maker of popular iPod Touch, iPhone and iPad role playing games available through the App Store, including titles such as Vampires Live, Ninjas Live, World War, Rock Battle, Pets Live, and Kingdoms. Late in 2009, it was discovered that many of Storm8’s games transmitted the phone number of its customer’s phones to its server, without alerting the customer that this was occurring. Storm8 claims that this is an inadvertent behavior that is due to its use of old code, that the old code has been replaced in newer versions of its games which no longer transmit phone numbers, that no commercial use has ever been made of the collected phone numbers, and that Storm8 does not know of any user who has suffered damages as a result of its software’s behavior. Nonetheless, there was outrage at the loss of privacy among its customers, and a class action lawsuit was filed in Northern California against Storm8. The law firm and Storm8 has now come to a settlement, and you can read about the terms of the settlement at http://www.storm8classaction.com/.
Briefly, if you do nothing, you will automatically receive your Settlement Payment of 45 in-game points (retail value about $3.75) when you open any Storm8 game. You have the right to object to this settlement, either by writing a letter to the law firm to exclude yourself from this settlement (which means you will not receive the payment, but will also retain the right to sue Storm8 in the future), or by writing a letter to the court to protest about the fairness of this settlement. Addresses for both the law firm and the court are provided at www.storm8classaction.com. Frankly, this is one of the most ridiculous class action settlements that I’ve seen in a long time. Most class action suits require that you opt in to receive settlement payments, thereby preserving your right to sue if you do not opt in; this one requires you to opt out, which means that if you’re too busy to read about the settlement and write a letter to opt out, you automatically lose your right to sue when Storm8 credits your account with 45 points. And while the 45 points are nominally worth $3.75 (and setting aside the fact that $3.75 is a ridiculously low sum for the loss of privacy suffered), it is not cash and cannot be used to purchase anything else aside from game items. This means that Storm8 gets away with not paying anything to its customers, while the law firm receives $125000 and the lead plaintiff receives $2500 for a minimum amount of work in initiating the lawsuit.
If you have downloaded a Storm8 game between March 2009 and August 2009, and will like to preserve your legal right to sue Storm8 for the loss of privacy due to its games transmitting your cell phone number to its servers, you should definitely read the terms of the lawsuit settlement at www.storm8classaction.com.