'

Apple hit with lawsuit over mobile app privacy leaks

The company has been sued in a US court over iOS-based mobile apps on iPhone and iPad that reveal personal data to advertising networks without permission

Apple has been hit by a lawsuit in the US for allowing iOS-based mobile apps that run on its iPhone and iPad devices to transmit users' personal information to advertising networks without their permission, according to news reports.

According to a Bloomberg report, the complaint, which was filed by an individual on 23 December in a US federal court in California, alleged that Apple's iPhones and iPads are encoded with identifiers, specifically the Unique Device Identifier (UDID). The UDID then allows advertising networks to track what apps users are downloading, how frequently they download content and for how long, the report noted.

Besides Apple, developers of apps such as Pandora, Paper Toss, the Weather Channel and Dictionary.com, were singled out as defendants in the lawsuit. Their inclusion was based on the allegation that these apps are "selling additional information to ad networks, including users' location, age, gender, income, ethnicity, sexual orientation and political views", according to the report, citing the lawsuit.

For more on this ZDNet UK-selected story, see Apple sued for mobile app privacy breach on ZDNet Asia.


Get the latest technology news and analysis, blogs and reviews delivered directly to your inbox with ZDNet UK's newsletters.