Apple, the self-proclaimed crusader of data privacy has found itself in an unlikely place. Of all the lawsuits I’d imagine Apple would be engulfed in, it never occurred that the company would be accused of selling user data.
According to a report by Bloomberg, the fruity company is being sued by a group of people from Rhode Island and Michigan states in the U.S. This bold accusation has been wrapped as a class action lawsuit, citing that Apple discloses and sells information on its iTunes users.
Apparently, it is possible to specify a list of iTunes users who meet certain criteria and then purchase this list; “For example, any person or entity could rent a list with the names and addresses of all unmarried, college-educated women over the age of 70 with a household income of over $80,000 who purchased country music from Apple via its iTunes Store mobile application. Such a list is available for sale for approximately $136 per thousand customers listed,” reads the accusation.
The plaintiff is seeking compensation for all affected users in both states. For those in Rhode Island, the suit seeks $250 compensation for each victim while those in Michigan should apparently receive $5,000 each according to the states’ individual privacy laws.
The lawsuit just kicked off in a US District Court for the Northern District of California and it will definitely be interesting to watch and see how it plays out, if Apple is indeed found guilty of selling user data, it could put the company between a rock and hard place.
Oh, there’s also another ongoing lawsuit that accuses Apple of being a monopoly with its App Store on its iPhones.