Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) and four of its iOS application developer partners are the targets of a lawsuit alleging violations of computer fraud and privacy laws by enabling advertising networks to access consumers' personal data via iPhone and iPad apps. The suit, filed in U.S. federal court in San Jose, California by the law firm KamberLaw on behalf of Los Angeles county resident Jonathan Lalo, contends that Apple allows ad networks to track consumers' activity based on a unique identification number, and claims apps sold related personal information to ad networks including "users' location, age, gender, income, ethnicity, sexual orientation and political views." In addition, the suit--which also names Pandora, Dictionary.com, The Weather Channel and Backflip Studios, the developer behind the game Paper Toss--states "Apple claims to review each application before offering it to its users, purports to have implemented app privacy standards and claims to have created ‘strong privacy protections' for its customers."
The KamberLaw suit petitions for class action status on behalf of users who downloaded an app on their iPhone or iPad between Dec. 1, 2008 and Dec. 23, 2010. It seeks damages, restitution and an injunction that in part requires defendants to cough up "notice and choice to consumers regarding defendants' data collection, profiling, merger and deanonymization activities." The suit follows just weeks after a Wall Street Journal report raising privacy concerns over personal data transmitted by both iOS and Android apps; the complaint sites the Journal investigation.
- read this Wall Street Journal article
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