"Yikes!!", is what most iPhone and iPad users were thinking when the news came out that a lawsuit has been filed against Apple for monitoring and selling to Advertising Networks, your personal information and usage statistics captured & stored on your iPhone and iPad (without your consent).
Here's the story from Bloomberg on BusinessWeek.com:
Apple Sued Over Applications Giving Information to Advertisers
Apple Inc., making of the iPhone and iPad, was accused in a lawsuit of allowing applications for those devices to transmit users’ personal information to advertising networks without customers’ consent.
The complaint, which seeks class action, or group, status, was filed on Dec. 23 in federal court in San Jose, California. The suit claims Cupertino, California-based Apple’s iPhones and iPads are encoded with identifying devices that allow advertising networks to track what applications users download, how frequently they’re used and for how long.
“Some apps are also selling additional information to ad networks, including users’ location, age, gender, income, ethnicity, sexual orientation and political views,” according to the suit.
The suit, filed on behalf of Jonathan Lalo of Los Angeles County, identifies applications such as Pandora, Paper Toss, the Weather Channel and Dictionary.com, and names them as defendants along with Apple. Lalo is represented by Scott A. Kamber and Avi Kreitenberg of KamberLaw LLC in New York.
Apple iPhones and iPads are set with a Unique Device Identifier, or UDID, which can’t be blocked by users, according to the complaint. Apple claims it reviews all applications on its App Store and doesn’t allow them to transmit user data without customer permission, according to the complaint.
It appears that though Apple is on the forefront of innovation, it may still utilize practices that in terms of Customer Privacy are prehistoric and illegal...
Of course this has not yet been proven and Apple will have it's day in court, but it is enough to make me feel relieved that I'm a loyal Blackberry user... (That, and the fact that I actually prefer a real keyboard...)
PS: I do have an 1st Generation iPod Touch, my wife has an iPod Nano and we plan on buying her an iPhone next year for her birthday...
http://www.flickr.com/photos/ivyfield/4486938457/sizes/l/in/photostream/ by Yutaka Tsutano on flickr