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User Collected Data – An Exercise in Information Privacy Expertise

User Collected Data – An Exercise in Information Privacy Expertise


Class Action suit filed for alleged surreptitious recording of numerous public transportation passengers by public transportation client.

The client needed expertise for the following:

  • To opine on the difference between a device and an application.

  • To analyze and opine on the consensual nature of the installation of apps.

  • To draw comparisons and distinctions between the type of information captured through consent vs anonymous means.


Our iDS experts drew upon their knowledge of law enforcement, investigative experience and deep technical backgrounds to describe the difference between hardware and software, as well as devices and applications.

The iDS Forensic and Investigative Team performed analysis and reported on the following:

  • That a specific app had to be user initiated for installation.

  • That a user had to “accept” the installation of the app, along with the acknowledgement that it was capturing certain non-

    user identifiable information.

  • To describe to the court the differences between hardware defined surreptitious recording devices and user installed apps

    that capture what most other apps also capture.

  • To describe to the court the difference between software key loggers that can capture every keystroke versus user installed

    apps that do not identify individual people.


Our team was able to show the court that a user installed app is not the same as a surreptitious recording device. The class action lawsuit was dismissed.