Apple is facing a class action lawsuit for allegedly collecting iPhone user data even when the company’s privacy settings promise not to. The lawsuit, which was filed Thursday in federal court in California, comes days later Exclusively reported by Gizmodo When looking at how many iPhone apps send Apple analytics data, regardless of whether the iPhone Analytics privacy setting is turned on or off.
The issue was spotted by independent researchers at software company Mysk, and they found that the Apple App Store sends the company extensive information about nearly everything a user does in the app, despite the privacy setting, iPhone Analytics, which claims to “completely disable sharing device analytics” when turned off. Employment. Gizmodo asked the researchers to run additional tests on other iPhone apps, including Apple Music, Apple TV, Books, and Stocks. The researchers found that the problem persists in most of Apple’s suite of built-in iPhone apps.
The lawsuit accuses Apple of violating the California Privacy Invasion Act. The plaintiff, Elliot Lippmann, said in the lawsuit, which can be read Bloomberg Law. “But Apple’s privacy guarantees are completely bogus.” The company has plastered billboards across the country with the slogan “Privacy. This is iPhone.”
Apple did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
As shown in a video posted to Mysk’s YouTube channel, the App Store appears to collect information about your activity in real time, including what you click on, which apps you search for, the ads you see, how you found a particular app and for how long I looked at the application page.
Apple’s privacy settings make explicit promises about shut off that kind of tracking. But in the tests, turning the iPhone Analytics setting off had no evident effect on the data collection, nor did any of the iPhone’s other built-in settings meant to protect your privacy from Apple’s data collection.
Mysk’s tests on the App Store found that Apple receives that data along with details that can identify you and your device, including ID numbers, what kind of phone you’re using, your screen resolution, your keyboard languages and how you’re connected to the internet—the kind of information commonly used for device fingerprinting.
When the researchers looked at other iPhone apps at Gizmodo’s request, they found that many behaved similarly. While the Health and Wallet apps didn’t collect analytics data, Apple Music, Apple TV, Books, the iTunes Store, and Stocks all did. The Stocks app shared data including your list of watched stocks, the names of stocks you viewed or searched for and time stamps for when you did it, as well as a record of any news articles you saw in the app.
“The level of detail is shocking for a company like Apple,” Tommy Mysk previously told Gizmodo.
This data can be sensitive, especially when you consider that merely searching for apps related to topics such as religion, LGBTQ issues, health and addiction can reveal details about a person’s life.
“Through its pervasive and unlawful data tracking and collection business, Apple knows even the most intimate and potentially embarrassing aspects of the user’s app usage—regardless of whether the user accepts Apple’s illusory offer to keep such activities private,” the lawsuit said.
Apple is under increased scrutiny for its privacy practices as the company expands into digital advertising. Apple recently Show new ads In the App Store, it is said that he plans to Ads on Apple TVand seems to focus on Overfishing Small business advertisers from Meta, the parent company of Facebook. While Apple’s literature loudly proclaims that “privacy is a human right,” it remains to be seen how willing the iPhone manufacturer is to waive that right as it develops new data-driven business ventures.
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