Apple Campaign Privacy (something that App Store apps may require a reminder of), but the company is now being sued over potential breaches of iTunes consumer privacy laws in two different states.
Variety has reports this week. The publication says Apple today faces a lawsuit from three different people living in Rhode Island and Michigan. According to the plaintiffs, Apple violated laws in these areas intended to protect information related to entertainment purchases. The trio are currently seeking class action status with other residents of other states, claiming that the company has "ignored its legal responsibility for those people".
The plaintiffs, who live in Rhode Island and Michigan, seek class action status for their lawsuits. If found guilty, Apple may be forced to pay compensation to the citizens of the two states who had heard their music listening habits due to the company's actions. Apple's advocates did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
One of the allegations is that Apple directly sold data about consumers who bought music from the company to data brokers, who in turn linked this type of data to other publicly available information and then resell it to marketers.
The case claims that Apple not only released personal listening history to third parties, but also used the Media Player framework to provide access to iTunes libraries for app developers. The plaintiffs also received unwanted junk mail, directly related to their listening history, as they claim, because the information is shared by Apple.
The original report notes that some of the information obtained from these third-party databases may not come directly from Apple. Brokers get their data from a variety of sources, which may include financial records related to iTunes and not necessarily private shared data from Apple to those third-party companies.
And, as for the previously mentioned Media Player frame, Apple makes explicit that app developers must get permission from each user before they can access the iTunes media library.
The claim of the claim is contrary to Apple's official story, which has long been that the company is much more privacy focused than its industry competitors. In fact, the lawsuit also contains an image of an Apple billboard that proclaims that "what's happening on the iPhone stays on your iPhone."
This "what's happening on the iPhone, remains on the iPhone", has been pushed into the market. Apple's face a few different times since it first appeared. For example, we just reported a number of different applications, each available through the App Store, which regularly sends a ridiculous amount of personal information to third-party trackers. Everything in the background.
Whether or not this particular case achieves class action status or remains to be seen. Nevertheless, if Apple provided this data directly, it's definitely not a good sign for the company at all.