December 29, 2010

Apple among others Leaks User Data to Advertisers-Get Sued


apple-sued

Apple, Backflip, Dictionary.com, Pandora and the Weather Channel and several third-party application vendors have been hit with lawsuits over disclosing customer information, such as age, gender and whereabouts, without the latter’s consent, reports said this week.

According to Washington Post  One suit was brought by KamberLaw, a firm that specializes in consumer class-action suits and digital privacy, on behalf of a California resident. The second is led by Dallas lawyer Majed Nachawati of Fears Nachawati, representing consumers in Texas and California. Both accuse the companies of violating federal privacy laws, including the wiretapping act, for their financial gain.

"Users ought to have control over the amount of data that is sent of their activities," said Jeremy R. Wilson, a lawyer with Wilson Trosclair & Lovins who is working with Nachawati on the case. "It's an invasion of their privacy, and it's done without their consent.

The suits said personal information at risk included users' ages, gender and location along with a unique device identifying number, or UDID, that Apple assigns to all iPhones and iPads. The complaint mirrors the findings of an investigation published this month by the Wall Street Journal that found many of the most popular apps distributed such data to third-party advertising networks without consumers' knowledge or consent - and at times in violation of Apple's privacy policy.

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