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Apple Sued Over Alleged Privacy Problems

February 1, 2011: An Apple user has filed suit in California against the company and is seeking class action status over alleged privacy violations by the computing giant, Network World reports. The suit claims Apple is sharing information on users' browsing history, application use, and other personal details with app developers for the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch.

Says the suit, "Apple's privacy policy is opaque and confusing but one thing is clear: it does not inform mobile device users that by providing application developers with their UDID, Apple enables them to put a name to highly personal and in many cases embarrassing information derived from app downloading activity and usage, and internet browsing history, that would otherwise be anonymous."

Apple's Unique Device Identifier is provided to developers, the suit claims, giving them access to detailed information that is in some cases being shared with tracking companies. The suit also cites a much-talked-about Wall Street Journal article that claimed developers can use the identifier to gain detailed info on app users including passwords, contacts, location, and even the name of the device owner. Apple said in response to that story that apps are not supposed to transmit data without the user's permission and an explanation of how the information will be used. 

Apple didn't immediately respond to Network World's request for comment.


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