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  • 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.

    Source: BusinessWeek
    This article was originally published in forum thread: Apple, App Makers Sued Over Privacy Concerns started by Paul Daniel Ash View original post
    Comments 43 Comments
    1. Den108's Avatar
      Den108 -
      Whoa. Sick.
    1. thevmax's Avatar
      thevmax -
      Testing...Testing...
      Hello Big Brother.
    1. iphone?3gs's Avatar
      iphone?3gs -
      an app or what app? I dont really think this is fair for apple, sure there a multi millionaire company, but they said dont do it right? They tried to stop it! Stevie im with you on this one.
    1. Poseidon79's Avatar
      Poseidon79 -
      It's transmitting anonymous demographic data. People are making such a huge deal out of nothing. Unless they're giving out my phone number, address, email, credit card... then I don't care.
    1. dq13's Avatar
      dq13 -
      people will sue for anything now a days... but again, they shouldn't be collecting that kind of info without your consent. I know its not like they're gonna scam you or anything, but hey, at least let me know ur tracking me
    1. zeroskater61's Avatar
      zeroskater61 -
      So that pretty much includes every single person with an iPod touch,iPhone, and iPad.. Wow how many heads would that be? Now imagine everyone getting back a little piece of the action from this? Oh wow even if it was a dollar worths in iTunes credit that they gave out. Still a lot.
    1. CaptainChaos's Avatar
      CaptainChaos -
      I still say that privacy is a must. Tailored ads are something I personally do not need, want, or see necessary. If I want an ad I will google for them.
    1. Yenjoi's Avatar
      Yenjoi -
      Thats pretty insane if apple gives money to anyone who has downloaded a app but then again apple will probably win the case
    1. Turb02's Avatar
      Turb02 -
      with the amount of times these apps have been downloaded, each user would probably get back some minuscule amount like .0001. Its more headache than its worth to be in a CAL
    1. steve-z17's Avatar
      steve-z17 -
      WHAT?!?! Another law suit?? How can this be???...................
    1. Maxhasadhd's Avatar
      Maxhasadhd -
      so everyone that got pandora gets money? thats alota money how do we get it though?
    1. Vinger's Avatar
      Vinger -
      $$$$$ that's what all see in this. All I want is to name and shame the guilty parties and make them change it so that I have a choice to allow it or not. The offending app devs are making money from you and me, at least give me a say in this.


      Sent from my iPhone using ModMyi
    1. whereswaldo's Avatar
      whereswaldo -
      Let's hope they win, cause then anyone could sue and win
    1. LSZ33's Avatar
      LSZ33 -
      This could get ugly for Apple and the devs who implemented these trackers. If anyone gets compensated, that would be a huge blow to Apple or whomever is found at fault. No Bueno.
    1. Chad711's Avatar
      Chad711 -
      Can't wait to get my $1.50 from the suit....
    1. hbdragon88's Avatar
      hbdragon88 -
      Just jailbreak and pony up $2.99 for Firewall IP. Problem solved. You also get to block ads, too. Suppose you play Words with Friends, you already made up the money you would have paid to get the ad-free version ($2.99).
    1. dustin942000's Avatar
      dustin942000 -
      Quote Originally Posted by whereswaldo View Post
      Let's hope they win, cause then anyone could sue and win
      +1 :]
    1. phoenix81's Avatar
      phoenix81 -
      Classaction suits are a bogus way for lawyers to make millions. The people don't see jack squat. If petitioned dont join they just wanna get rich while the people get a $1.38
    1. dthiss's Avatar
      dthiss -
      Quote Originally Posted by Poseidon79 View Post
      It's transmitting anonymous demographic data. People are making such a huge deal out of nothing. Unless they're giving out my phone number, address, email, credit card... then I don't care.
      That is so short sighted. It's not exactly what they are transmitting, but they are doing it without our knowledge or consent. That anonymous data could be used for nefarious acts. I for one do not want any info sent without my consent.
    1. sziklassy's Avatar
      sziklassy -
      Quote Originally Posted by iphone?3gs View Post
      an app or what app? I dont really think this is fair for apple, sure there a multi millionaire company, but they said dont do it right? They tried to stop it! Stevie im with you on this one.
      This is the risk you take when YOU are the one permitting or denying all apps on your market. To some degree you condone them if you keep them up! not saying that this is legitimate of people to complain that they are sending ANONYMOUS USER DATA over the air, but if the app makers are found guilty it is only fair for Apple to have tot ake some of the heat. OR... open up your system so that we can install anything we want from any dev we want and then you won't be responsible for all of those applications.

      Quote Originally Posted by dthiss View Post
      That is so short sighted. It's not exactly what they are transmitting, but they are doing it without our knowledge or consent. That anonymous data could be used for nefarious acts. I for one do not want any info sent without my consent.
      What nefarious things can you come up with? This data is being used for ads that pertain to you because they are sometimes local. They are not sending your address book, a specific GPS location, or anything. Guess what? This happens on your computer too. Have you ever seen an ad for something local? They have the data from your ISP stating where (what city) you are located.