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Friday, May 04, 2012, 12:51 pm PT (03:51 pm ET)

Judge rules Apple must face lawsuit over iPhone data collection

A lawsuit accusing Apple of collecting users' data against their will through iPhone applications is moving forward after a California judge's ruling.

San Jose-based U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh ruled this week that the discovery phase of the class-action lawsuit will proceed, according to Bloomberg. The judge wants Apple to begin turning over relevant documents to the plaintiffs' lawyers by May 17.

Apple tried unsuccessfully to dismiss the case outright, arguing that the plaintiffs did not identify a "single, concrete injury inflicted on any one of the plaintiffs." The company declined to comment after Koh's ruling was handed down.

The class-action suit has accused Apple of collecting geographical data from users' iPhones even after they said, through settings in the iOS mobile operating system, that they didn't want such information shared.

Location services on the iPhone gained significant attention last year, when a pair of researchers found that iOS was keeping a database file with personal location data. The company quickly released a software update to address the issue.

However, Apple was still hit with lawsuits over Apple's data collection, as users complained in lawsuits that they felt felt the company was "tracking people wherever they go." The issue stemmed from an error in the iOS software that continued to collect location data, in an attempt to improve location services, even after a user had turned off location services on their iPhone.