Apple sued after proving privacy settings don't prevent iPhone from tracking users

Apple sued after proving privacy settings don’t prevent iPhone from tracking users

Apple is now the defendant in a class action lawsuit brought by iPhone users who claim that Apple collected their user data even though they were promised through Apple’s privacy settings that their personal information would not be not collected. Gizmodo recently reported that even if you have disabled iPhone Analytics on your iPhone, Apple still receives a ton of information about you, which would seem to catch the company in a huge contradiction.
Gizmodo previously reported that Tommy Mysk and Talal Haj Bakry, a pair of app developers and security researchers who work for a software company called Mysk, made a startling discovery. Some Apple apps such as the App Store, Apple Music, Apple TV, Books, and Stocks collected personal data from users even though iPhone Analytics was disabled. This seems to be the case with all of Apple’s native iPhone apps.

Apple collects personal data even when iPhone Analytics is disabled

A YouTube video posted by Mysk reveals how the App Store collects your personal data in real time, including the keys you pressed, the apps you viewed, the ads you viewed and even the time you spent spent watching an app. Store list. The plaintiff named in the lawsuit is a certain Elliot Libman and he accuses Apple of violating the California Invasion of Privacy Act.

While Apple has promoted privacy to differentiate the iPhone from Android handsets, Libman says, “Privacy is one of the key issues that Apple uses to differentiate its products from competitors. But Apple’s privacy guarantees are completely illusory.

Mysk discovered that the data Apple receives from users also includes certain identification numbers, the model of phone you are using, including its screen resolution, the connection you have to the Internet and the language used on your keyboard. . The Stocks app revealed the list of stocks you follow, the times you checked a quote, and any news articles you read about the company.

Tommy Mysk, one of the researchers who discovered how Apple apps track users, pointed out that “the level of detail is shocking for a company like Apple.” And given that information collected by Apple can determine a user’s interest in the LGBTQ community, or whether the user has health or addiction issues, it’s no surprise the lawsuit was filed.

Speaking of the lawsuit, he says, “Through its ubiquitous and unlawful data-tracking and data-gathering activity, Apple knows even the most intimate and potentially embarrassing aspects of a user’s app usage. whether or not the user accepts Apple’s illusory offer to keep these activities private.”

In 2019, Apple set up a huge billboard in front of the Las Vegas Convention Center, which hosted that year’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES). Apple did not present at the event or purchase a booth. Still, the billboard generated quite a buzz as it could be seen by everyone entering and leaving the Convention Center. The sign is inspired by a famous Las Vegas saying and states that “What happens on your iPhone stays on your iPhone”.

Apple is looking to develop its own mobile ad network

A class action designation means any iPhone user with a similar claim against the company can join the lawsuit. Any settlement or financial award awarded by the court against Apple is divided among the class members after the attorneys have taken their fair share of the action.

During the summer, signs appeared indicating that Apple wants to develop its own mobile advertising platform. It would be a “demand-side platform” (DSP) used by advertisers who want to show their ads on the highest quality sites at the lowest possible costs. A “supply-side platform” is run by publishers who seek to sell ads to advertisers on any site at the highest price possible.
The lawsuit can be found on the Bloomberg Law and notes that “Apple records, tracks, collects, and monetizes analytics data, including browsing history and activity information, regardless of safeguards or ‘privacy settings’ that consumers agree to. to protect their privacy. Even when consumers follow Apple’s own instructions and turn off ‘Allow apps to request tracking’ and/or ‘Share [Device] Analytics’ on their privacy controls, Apple nevertheless continues to record consumer app usage, app browsing communications and personal information across its proprietary Apple apps, including the App Store, Apple Music, Apple TV , Books and Stocks. [Libman v. Apple, Inc., Docket No. 5:22-cv-07069 (N.D. Cal. Nov 10, 2022), Court Docket]


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