Apple Faces Possible Privacy Class Action Over iPhone, iPad Apps

Lora Bentley

In July, lawmakers were grilling Apple regarding what it does with information collected about those iPad, iPod and iPhone users. Apple's Bruce Sewell, general counsel and vice president for legal and government affairs, explained that the information was collected only from those who decided to use location-based services, and that they always had the option to disable those services. It was enough to assuage some of their concerns.


But now, it seems, the users themselves are complaining-not about the fact that Apple collects information, but that some of the apps they use on their Apple devices collect and share information. The Guardian reported Wednesday that the Cupertino, Calif.-based company is facing a lawsuit filed by two groups of users who claim that applications on the iPad and iPhone transmit users' personal information to various advertising networks-without user consent.


The lawsuit, filed last week in a federal court in San Diego, alleges that along with transmitting the iPad or iPhone's unique device identifier to the ad networks, some apps (Pandora and, among others) sell additional information, including user location, age, gender, income and ethnicity.


The plaintiffs are currently seeking class action certification.


Facebook users made similar claims about its applications earlier this year, as did users of Android-based smartphones.

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