Apple, Apple, Apple: this is to prove that even the champions of privacy and user defense also have their moments, say, of weakness – according to some of their own users, that is. Just look at this story brought by Bloomberg.
According to the agency, a group of Apple customers filed a class action lawsuit against the company alleging that their personal information related to the iTunes and to Apple Music were sold to Apple partners without their consent. This represents a practice that, if proven to be true, is not revealed by the Cupertino giant – and that goes against the whole company’s image and policies, of course.
The consumers in question, from the American states of Michigan it’s from Rhode Island, claim that Apple markets data for “hundreds of thousands” of customers; anonymous partners could acquire lists with iTunes users that fit certain parameters, such as education level or music purchase pattern. The buyers of that data would then cross-reference it with other information provided by Apple to create unique consumer profiles and sell them to advertisers.
The prosecution documents point to Apple’s recent privacy-focused campaign, stating that the catchphrase employed by Apple – “what happens on your iPhone stays on your iPhone” – is simply not true, since the company would be selling information under the cloths. It is not clear what kind of evidence or evidence for this accusation was offered by the complainant.
If Apple is proven to actually sell personal information related to iTunes, the company may be in trouble: the practice is illegal in the plaintiffs’ states and in many other American states (as well as countries). Consumers who filed the lawsuit request a refund of $ 250 for each affected Rhode Island customer and $ 5,000 for each Michigan customer, based on the laws of each state.
The lawsuit is being filed in the Northern California District Court, and Apple will certainly follow its proceedings very closely. A defeat in this type of issue, after all, could generate an avalanche of other similar actions.