Lawsuit claims Apple violated privacy laws by revealing iTunes listening data

Three iTunes users are suing Apple for allegedly revealing their listening habits to advertisers. The users, who come from Rhode Island and Michigan, claim that Apple violated the laws that protect the records of entertainment purchases in those states. They seek collective action status along with other residents of the state, and claim that Apple has "disregarded their legal responsibilities to these people" by revealing personal information.

The lawsuit alleges that Apple has divulged personal listening information directly to third parties, while granting Application developers access iTunes libraries through the Media Player framework. It is based on specific public criticisms of Apple's privacy practices, as well as the general availability of data from private users through data intermediaries. It also speculates that Apple's disclosures of data are responsible for plaintiffs receiving unsolicited junk mail based on their listening history.

As it says Variety data intermediaries collect information from many sources, so data from iTunes users can be obtained through of financial records that are not directly related to Apple. The Apple Media Player documentation currently tells developers to get permission from users before accessing music libraries, and says that "they are not authorized to use this framework to gather information about the user's audio content. , nor to use such information for any purpose. "However, the lawsuit notes that Apple was criticized for automatically allowing full access a few years ago, however, and plaintiffs say Apple still makes it very easy to collect data through of iTunes.

These statements contrast with Apple's pro-privacy vocal stance. In his presentation, the suit prints an announcement earlier this year, where Apple says that "what happens on your iPhone stays on your iPhone," something that the plaintiffs say is "totally false." Online media services have opposed privacy laws. before. Netflix, for example, resolved a class action lawsuit alleging that it had violated the Video Privacy Protection Act. However, previous privacy claims against Apple have been dismissed because users could not establish that they had been harmed.

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