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Apple Privacy Concerns Go To Court 73

An anonymous reader writes "From the article: 'Apple is being sued for allegedly letting mobile apps on the iPhone and iPad send personal information to ad networks without the consent of users.' Some of the apps listed are on the Android Market as well, but there is no mention of a similar problem for Google. One wonders if Apple could be persuaded to strip access to the unique phone identifiers from apps." A followup article with an industry lawyer suggests that this lawsuit could be the first of many as users push back against privacy intrusions by app developers and ad networks.
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Apple Privacy Concerns Go To Court

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  • by yincrash ( 854885 ) on Saturday January 01, 2011 @10:50AM (#34730002)
    that is why there is no issue with google.
  • by peragrin ( 659227 ) on Saturday January 01, 2011 @11:09AM (#34730090)

    then why do so many android apps require internet access, and other information, even though they are just a simple game?, note pad, etc.

    people are use to clicking on yes to continue because that's what they have to do to get it to work. 90% of the population also clicks through EULA's without reading the first sentence. I know I do. I can't be bothered to read it, it would take far longer to read and understand than the contents of the program are worth.

  • by dreamchaser ( 49529 ) on Saturday January 01, 2011 @11:12AM (#34730108) Homepage Journal

    If you agree to something without reading it then it's your own damn fault if you don't like the outcome.

  • by jolyonr ( 560227 ) on Saturday January 01, 2011 @11:13AM (#34730116) Homepage

    There's no reason why iOS have to send the genuine UDIDs to the app developer. If the app requests a UDID for the device, iOS should generate a key that is unique for that device AND THAT DEVELOPER.

    So a developer can see if a user has (for example) used the previous 'free' version of their paid app, but these keys would be meaningless to other developers.

    It may still be possible for developers to find out the UDID through unauthorized means, but then the developer would clearly be breaking Apple rules and is at risk of being kicked out of the appstore.


  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 01, 2011 @11:41AM (#34730236)

    > Some people will say yes to anything that pops up.

    At some point, you can't stop people from being stupid. All you can do is provide a reasonable chance to avoid problems. If they INSIST on getting themselves in trouble by bypassing basic precautions, it's impossible to stop.

    App: "Using this app means you'll be kicked in the nuts."
    User: "Ok! That's fine."
    App: "Whack!"
    User: "OWWW! Bloody hell that hurt! Stop that!"
    App: "Dude, 3 seconds ago you said it was OK!"

    Seriously: that's plant-level intelligence, not human level intelligence. If people are going to act like that, they need to learn that there are consequences.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 01, 2011 @12:17PM (#34730392)

    that is why there is no issue with google.

    In other news, naive fanboi trusts ad agency with private jumbo jet for execs, that sells personal data for profit, and has a history snooping wireless networks.

    Why on God's good Earth do people actually trust Google? Google makes their money from SELLING ADS for other CORPORATIONS. As an ad agency themselves, they sure have done a good job marketing themselves, wouldn't you say?

  • by davester666 ( 731373 ) on Saturday January 01, 2011 @02:03PM (#34731086) Journal

    Um, you do know Blackberry's work, right?

    Unless the company you work for coughed up a lung to run a RIM server internally, all your personal data gets routed through RIM's "cloud" in Canada [which the US gov't likes, because they don't need any pesky warrants to access the data because Canadian's are so accommodating].

  • by Bigjeff5 ( 1143585 ) on Saturday January 01, 2011 @02:33PM (#34731272)

    Any app that is ad supported requires internet access. Most of the free apps are ad supported. Most of them work just fine if you have mobile data turned off (I'm sure a few are assholes about it - I haven't come across any), but the app is still going to try to use the internet to download advertisements if the internet is accessible - ergo the "this app requires network services" type messages. Any app that auto-updates will require this as well, ads or no.

    Some apps require access to the cell services in order to allow the app to handle incoming phone calls, for example. The app itself may have nothing to do with making phone calls, or intercepting phone calls, but the interruption from the phone call might cause the program to hang if handled incorrectly. So, it needs to access the cell API in order to handle the app correctly when you receive a call. Ergo "this app requires access to cell services".

    The warning allows you to do a little research if it concerns you and find out if this app is ok or if it is doing some funny business.

    Most people don't care.

  • by Bigjeff5 ( 1143585 ) on Saturday January 01, 2011 @02:43PM (#34731338)

    You should have noticed that the web browser doesn't work without background data either.

    You need a constant connection to browse the web, any idiot should know that. The market is just a fancy front-end for a website (you can actually access it on a PC, but you can only download from a phone).

    As for Backup Assistant and Skype, that blows. You should go see your Verizon rep. You know you're paying $2 a month for BA right?

A consultant is a person who borrows your watch, tells you what time it is, pockets the watch, and sends you a bill for it.