Eliot Liebman has sued Apple for illegally collecting user data in the App Store. He hopes that with this action, a class action lawsuit will be launched against the Cupertino technology giant. The lawsuit alleges that the type of data Apple collects from users in its app store violates their privacy rights.
Liebman’s complaint alleges that research published in November showed that Apple tracks and collects various analytics data, such as browsing history and user activity information, and monetizes them.
He points out that it doesn’t matter if consumers have applied protection measures or privacy settings on their device or not; Because Apple tracks and collects their data anyway. In this complaint, the Allow Apps to Request to Track and Share Analytics settings are specifically mentioned as Apple’s main problems.
In the description of this complaint, it is stated:
Apple’s methods of collecting information violate the company’s users’ privacy and intentionally deceive customers; Such an action allows Apple and the company’s employees to know the exact details of people’s lives and interests and how they use the applications, and thus, the company has become a potential target for governments to buy information.
Through a pervasive and illegal business of tracking and data collection, the Cupertinos track even the most personal aspects of app usage, regardless of whether or not users have enabled pseudo-privacy in their device settings.
Lawyers involved in the lawsuit filed against Apple believe they have a tough road ahead of them to win this case. We still don’t know if the plaintiff or the attorneys who filed the complaint understand the distinction between server-side data collection and how the core complaint settings work.
In addition, it is possible that the data raised in the lawsuit against Apple was collected from the server side. For example, the viewing history of the Netflix video player is stored on the server side, where tracking-related settings do not apply.
Regarding the Allow Apps to Request to Track and Share Analytics settings, we should point out that the section related to sharing analytics is probably unrelated to the topic itself; Because app browsing history is user behavior and is not related to device analysis, which is used to determine the status and internet service when problems occur.
Mysk’s research, which inspired the lawsuit filed against Apple, notes that iOS 14.6 sends Apple data detailing usage of Apple TV, Apple Music, the App Store, and Books. This research has claimed that the Stocks program collects less information compared to the mentioned applications.
The transmitted data is associated with an identifier by which the user can be identified. According to reports, this behavior continues until iOS 16; But the researchers were unable to check the submitted data; Because they were all sent completely encrypted. Mysk researchers have stated that with different privacy settings, no similar data was sent through the Health and Wallet apps and were destined for other iCloud servers.
The lawsuit filed against Apple claims that users’ personal information has monetary value. The study mentioned in the petition is based on the sale of data, some of which were collected by hacking and data theft. Apple says it does not sell user data and has no evidence that it does.
Apple has also provided explanations about how data is used in its advertising platforms. User or device information is not combined with data from third-party companies to deliver targeted ads, the company says. The Cupertino-based tech giant says it does not share data collected from users’ devices with other companies or organizations.
The lawsuit filed against Apple further alleges highly offensive behavior involving the company’s intentional interference with Internet communications and covert surveillance of private app browsing. Apple or any app store needs to know at some level what users are browsing and what items each particular user has purchased in order to provide some of their services.