Consumers from Rhode Island and Michigan allege in a proposed class action that despite Apple’s promises with regard to protecting iPhone users’ data, the Cupertino company “sells, rents, transmits and/or otherwise discloses” information pertaining to music purchases made from the iTunes Store application that comes preloaded onto iPhones.
The 51-page case alleges Apple discloses to third parties the full names and home addresses of iTunes customers, along with specific music genres and titles of songs bought in the iTunes Store and then stored in an iPhone’s music library. Third parties who obtain this information are then able to append it to a number of other branches of personally identifiable information, such as gender, age, household income, and educational history, which can then be re-sold to other data aggregators, appenders, cooperatives and list brokers, the suit claims.
More concerning, the case alleges Apple has sold or otherwise disclosed iTunes users' personal listening information to app developers, many of whom the plaintiffs say have, in turn, further disclosed proposed class members' details to still more third parties.
Apple, according to the suit, has disclosed the personal listening information of proposed class members and millions of other iTunes Store customers “without providing prior notice to or obtaining the requisite consent from anyone.” Citing Rhode Island’s Video, Audio and Publication Rentals Privacy Act and Michigan’s Preservation of Personal Privacy Act, the lawsuit says proposed class members have received a “barrage of unwanted junk mail” to their homes and email addresses as a result of Apple’s alleged iTunes data sharing.