Apple Sued Again Over iOS Location and Data Sharing
By Ian Paul
Apple is in the hot seat again in a new lawsuit that says iPad and iPhone user location data and other personal information is being shared with third-party advertisers. Apple is accused of aiding and abetting the “intentional taking and transmitting” of user data to third parties. The suit, filed in U.S. District Court in Puerto Rico, also names Pandora Media and The Weather Channel, but leaves the door open to name more defendants at a later date. This latest lawsuit was first reported by The Loop.
The plaintiff, Lymaris M. Rivera Diaz, accuses the companies of sharing user data including location history and Unique Device Identifier (UDID) “without consumers’ knowledge or advance and informed consent.” This data is then used by third-party advertisers to covertly track a “mobile device users’ interests and likes on the Internet.”
Users have brought a number of similar lawsuits against Apple in recent months. A lawsuit filed in New York in May also accuses Apple, Pandora, and Backflip Studios (makers of iOS games such as Paper Toss) of sharing personal user data with third-party advertisers, according to Apple Insider.
Two men recently filed suit against Apple in Florida over Apple’s caching of user location history, according to Bloomberg. The cache was well publicized in April after researchers released an application that could take user location data created by iOS devices and plot it on a map.
Apple recently updated iOS to version 4.3.3 to deal with some complaints about the location data cache kept on iPhones and 3G-enabled iPads. The cache is no longer saved in your backup files on your PC, and the device only keeps seven days’ worth of location data.