Apple, App Makers Sued Over Privacy Concerns
We reported a couple weeks ago about an investigation showing that apps transmit personal data to advertisers
despite Apple's rules against doing so. Now Apple has been hit with a lawsuit
that accuses them, along with the developers of some popular apps, of revealing users' information without their consent. If the suit is granted class action status, millions of people could receive money from the companies.
The Wall Street Journal tested 101 apps
and found that 56 transmitted personal data to third-party advertising companies, most without notifying the user first. As a result, Jonathan Lalo sued Apple and app makers including Pandora, the Weather Channel and Dictionary.com. In the suit, Lalo claims that the fact that the iPhone's UDID can't be blocked allows users to be tracked and profiled by advertisers. "Some apps are also selling additional information to ad networks," Lalo alleges in the lawsuit, "including users' location, age, gender, income, ethnicity, sexual orientation and political views."
Apple has not commented on the lawsuit, but has previously asserted that App Store rules prohibit using the UDID to uniquely identify users. Lalo is seeking class action status for the lawsuit, which would mean that anyone who downloaded an app on the iPhone, iPad or iPod touch between Dec. 1, 2008 and last week would be a party.