US newspaper Austin American-Statesman reported that a class action lawsuit has been launched alleging that a number of high-profile apps routinely steal user information from users without their knowledge or consent.

In a filing made to the US district court for Texas, companies listed include social app developers Facebook, Foursquare, Gowalla, Path, LinkedIn and Twitter, games companies EA, Rovio and ZeptoLab, plus several other high-profile titles.

The suit, on behalf of 13 consumers, calls for firms to stop harvesting data without user consent, and also seeks monetary compensation.

The move follows reports earlier this year that numerous apps were uploading customers’ phone book data to servers without seeking permission, in order to detect relationships between users for “find friend” features.

Initially, the issue was noted for Path, but subsequent research found that a number of well-known titles were guilty of the same practices.

Jeff Edwards, lead counsel for the complainants, told American-Statesmen that “it appears as if they feel like it's better to ask for forgiveness, not permission, and we think that's not right.”