OAKLAND, Calif., Dec. 4 (UPI) -- Apple intentionally did not tell users it was secretly deleting non-iTunes store music from their iPods, alleged consumer attorneys in a class-action suit against Apple.
According to attorneys for the plaintiffs, between 2007 and 2009, music purchased from non-Apple services, such as Amazon MP3 or RealPlayer, was intentionally deleted when uploaded to iPods, without notifying the file owners. IPods synced with non-iTunes purchases displayed an error message telling users to restore the device's factory settings, and, upon restoration, the offending music was scrubbed from the iPod's hard drive in what attorney Patrick Coughlin categorized as "the worst possible experience."
Apple denies its devices were programmed to delete third party purchases. The company claims the deletions occurred in response to a security threat from hackers "DVD John" and "Requiem," among others.
"The system was totally hacked," testified Apple security director Augustin Farrugia, according to the Wall Street Journal. Farrugia said the security breach left Apple "very paranoid" about the security of iTunes.
As for the lack of notification, Farrugia said it was in keeping with Apple's culture of simplified interface and user interaction.
"We don't need to give users too much information. We don't want to confuse users."
Prosecutors are seeking nearly $350 million in damages, a number that could triple under federal antitrust law, if Apple's actions are ruled to have been an intentional attempt to stifle competition.