Apple Hit with iPhone Data Privacy Lawsuit

Apple is facing yet another lawsuit, this time over allegations that the company is violating customer privacy by allowing third party iPhone apps to collect the device’s unique identifier number. The lawsuit also alleged that Apple is allowing developers to download user’s Web browsing history without consent.

The case was filed by Anthony Chiu in San Jose, California, for violations of state business and privacy laws, according to InformationWeek. The filing stated that by launching an app, or tapping an in-app ad, developers are able to download user’s UDID device number and Web browser history.

The complaint alleges, in part:

Anyone who has used a mobile device to browse the Internet to obtain advice about hemorrhoids, sexually transmitted disease, abortion, drug rehabilitation, or care for the elderly; to search for jobs, seek out new romantic partners, engage in political activity; in fact, to do more or less anything; can be reasonably sure that the browsing history created by such investigation has been incorporated into a detailed dossier for sale to marketers.

“Transmission of the UDID would allow the recipient to identify exactly what a user is browsing and, together with other information, where they are at any given time,” said Andre Rado of Milberg LLP, the law firm representing Mr. Chiu. “In addition, there are are disclosure-based and contract-based claims in the action.”

Along with Apple, the suit lists 50 unnamed defendants, hinting that at some point third party developers may get drawn into court as well.