Due to the “What They Know“ report published by the Wall Street Journal last week, Apple, Pandora, TextPlus4, Dictionary.com, and other app makers are being sued for the “intrusive tracking scheme implemented through the use of mobile device Apps” on iOS. As discovered by the WSJ, many apps give specific information about users’ devices (UDID, location) to ad networks, who use the information to profile the user for targeted advertisements without their consent.
This lawsuit involves the intentional interception, by Defendants, of Plaintiffs’ personally identifying information (“PII”). Defendants accomplish this by using iPhone and iPad mobile device applications (“Apps”). Defendants capture Plaintiffs’ devices Unique Device ID (“UDID”) – the unique identifying number that Apple, Inc. (“Apple”) assigns to each of its iPhones and iPads – and transmits that information along with the devices’ location data to third-party advertisers. Apple, as a joint venturer with the remaining Defendants, aids and abets this intentional taking and transmitting of Plaintiffs’ PII. All of this is done without Plaintiffs’ consent and in violation of their legal rights. Plaintiffs bring this lawsuit to rectify this wrong being systematically perpetrated upon them.
Apple is being held accountable because they, unlike Google, have to approve every app that enters the App Store, and are aware of this particular issue—but have done nothing to warn customers.