Apple has been slapped with a lawsuit contending that applications for its iPhone and iPad unlawfully provide unique and personal information about users to advertising networks.
The lawsuit against Apple and four other companies that provide apps for its popular devices was filed in San Jose, California Dec 23 but was first reported Wednesday by Bloomberg News.
The lawsuit comes amid increasing concern that apps on Apple’s iOS operating system and Google’s rival Android software are leaking sensitive personal information about their users.
Filed by Jonathan Lalo of Los Angeles, the complaint asks for class action status and contends users of the iPhone and iPad “were the victims of privacy violations and unfair business practices by Apple”.
The other companies included in the suit are Backflip, Pandora, Dictionary.com and The Weather Channel.
The complaint alleges that the apps transmit unique and personal information to ad networks without users’ consent and in contravention of Apple’s claims to have implemented “strong privacy protections” for users of the App Store, where every app available is reviewed and approved by the company.
The lawsuit said that the information being illegally provided to ad networks included “users’ location, age, gender, income, ethnicity, sexual orientation and political views”, in violation of the Electronic Communications Privacy Act, the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act as well as other state and federal laws.