A class-action suit filed by Anthony Bartling and Jacqueline Olson in the U.S. District Court in San Jose seeks to exact justice for the Cupertino-based giant's alleged negligence in informing its users of the existence of the Meltdown and Spectre vulnerabilities that affect the operation of almost all modern processors.
The two allege that the smartphone maker could have informed users of its A4 to A11 Bionic chips used in a variety of iOS- and tvOS-powered devices of these exploits as soon as it knew about them, instead of waiting for the eventual revelations that took the tech world by storm earlier this month.
An excerpt from the legal filing reads,
"ARM Holdings PLC, the company that licenses the ARM architecture to Apple, admits that it was notified of the Security Vulnerabilities in June 2017 by Google's Project Zero and that it immediately notified its architecture licensees (presumably, including Apple) who create their own processor designs of the Security Vulnerabilities."
Proving fault on Apple's part may be a tad difficult, however, as multiple actors in the tech world were affected by, and aware of, the exploits as the industry as a whole sought to implement patches and mitigations across the board. As is the norm in such cases, individual companies are restricted from revealing details of potential vulnerabilities until the relevant patches are provided for the sake of users' safety and an early reveal by Apple would run contrary to the filing's point, possibly endangering millions of devices as they waited for hardware and software makers to provide patches that didn't exist yet.
While it's too soon to tell if the plaintiffs will succeed in their case against the tech giant, they expect at least 100 more customers to become a part of the class action, with proposed damages to be paid by Apple exceeding $5 million if the case is believed to have merit.