A lawsuit alleges that according to research published in November, Apple not only tracks, records, and collects data without the user’s permission through its App Store but also monetizes off of it. This data includes browsing history and activity, with the plaintiff hoping that the lawsuit turns into a class action one.
Apple Allegedly Has Some Knowledge of What a User Is Browsing on the App Store
Elliot Libman was the name of the plaintiff, with AppleInsider reporting that the case number 5:2022cv07069 was filed in the US District Court for the Northern District of California. Sadly, Libman’s attorneys do not share the same enthusiasm as their client, believing that the lawsuit will be difficult to win. As for details of the suit, they are provided below.
“Apple’s practices infringe upon consumers’ privacy; intentionally deceive consumers; give Apple and its employees power to learn intimate details about individuals’ lives, interests, and app usage; and make Apple a potential target for “one-stop shopping” by any government, private, or criminal actor who wants to undermine individuals’ privacy, security, or freedom. 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 report also states that the data Libman is referring to is collected on Apple’s servers. For instance, Netflix also follows a practice where user data is collected on the servers and is tied with that specific account, suggesting that the attorneys or plaintiff might be confused about the understanding of server-side data collection. The lawsuit also mentions that Apple has financially benefitted from users’ personal data, but the report mentions that the study included in the suit talks about sales of data, plus information that was breached through hacks.
To remind you, Apple states that it does not collect user data and is transparent on how it uses data in its advertising platform, and that alone might be the final nail in the lawsuit’s coffin. App Store and iPhone users always agree to the terms and conditions that Apple sets before they can actually start using them, so to claim that these practices are a violation appears farfetched. In order for a lawsuit to actually proceed to court, customers need to be misled by a company by engaging in practices that were not mentioned in the agreement.
So far, there is no hearing date for the case and unfortunately, we do not have an update on that either.