Apple and app makers sued for 'user profiling'

Pandora and others allegedly handing data to advertisers

Lawsuit tackles app privacy woes.

Apple and the makers of top iPhone apps like personal radio service Pandora and have been issued with a lawsuit after allegedly passing user data onto advertisers, allowing them to make secret profiles.

The suit, filed in North Carolina in the USA, accuses the app makers of giving up the user's location and device identity so that advertisers can target specific users within the app. The app makers do not ask for permission from the users to pass data onto third parties.

The lawsuit concerns the UDID (Unique Device Identification) number that Apple issues each iPhone with. If advertisers have that number then they are able to build a profile on the user and hit them with specific apps based on clicking history and location.

The lawsuit requests that the profiling be ceased and that monetary reparations be paid. Other top apps named in the suit include Toss It, Talking Tom Cat and The Weather Channel.

"Apple sued" headlines usually appear weekly, but it's usually over some petty patent squabble with a rival manufacturer, or some chancer claiming it weas actually him who invented the iPhone. This particular legal battle could have much greater ramifications as worries about smartphone and app privacy continue.

Link: Wired