Security & Fraud

Three People Sue Apple Over iTunes Privacy Issues

Three People Sue Apple For iTunes Privacy Issues

Three Apple customers have sued the tech company over what they say are privacy violations, claiming that Apple allegedly shared their listening habits with third parties, according to reports.

The plaintiffs, who live in Michigan and Rhode Island, are trying to get class-action status for the lawsuit. If they win, Apple would be compelled to pay damages to the plaintiffs.

One of the allegations in the suit says the iPhone maker sold the plaintiff’s data to data brokers, who combined the information with other available data and then repackaged and resold it to marketing companies.

The lawsuit highlights direct marketing lists that classify certain consumers as “iTunes and Pandora music purchasers.” There is no direct evidence, however, that the purchasing data did not come from other means.

Another claim in the lawsuit involves the company giving iOS developers access to data stores on iPhones, iPads and iPods. This includes data about songs and albums that were bought from the iTunes store.

This alleged data could potentially allow marketers to create profiles based on a person’s behavior, which could then be resold. Apple has long claimed to be a more privacy-focused company than many of its rivals; the lawsuit highlights this by including a billboard from Apple that says “what happens on your iPhone, stays on your iPhone.”

The claims could be hard to prove, because they have to show harm from Apple’s actions. Previous lawsuits against Apple regarding privacy and data have been thrown out because it couldn’t be proven that they caused the plaintiff harm.

In other Apple news, it was recently revealed that Citigroup is in advanced talks with Apple to partner on its new credit card, but decided not to move forward. Citing people with knowledge of the talks, CNBC reported that Citigroup bailed over concerns that it wouldn’t earn enough of a profit from the partnership. JPMorgan Chase, Barclays and Synchrony were also in the running to partner with Apple on the credit card. Apple went with Goldman Sachs, announcing in March that the new credit card will be available in the summer.

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