Apple Being Sued Over Sending Ad Data Without User Consent

Posted by at 10:42 am on December 28, 2010

Apple is allowing iOS apps to broadcast private data to advertising networks without consent, a federal lawsuit filed on December 23rd  alleges. In short, the filers claim, the defendants’ actions constitute violations of federal computer fraud and privacy laws.    The suit notes that iOS devices transmit at least a basic amount of information without permission by way of their UDID (Unique Device Identifier). Advertisers are seeing what apps people are downloading, how often they’re run and for how long, say lawyers acting on behalf of plaintiff Jonathan Lalo.

Some apps are also selling extra information to networks, the suit claims, ranging from ages, genders, incomes and locations through to ethnicities, sexual orientations and even political views. A crux of the case is that Apple is said to assure people that it reviews all submissions to the App Store, and that no app will transmit user data without authorization. The suit also names some third-party developers as defendants however, including the creators of Pandora, Paper Toss and the Weather Channel and Dictionary.com apps.

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