News hardware Apple sued for being too curious about its users
Published on 14/11/2022 at 19:15
It has now been a couple of years since Apple decided to put the privacy of users of its devices at the center of its concerns. In particular, we can remember l’App Tracking Transparency de l’entreprisereleased in 2021 with the arrival of iOS 14.5 and which is intended to protect users by allowing them to choose whether or not they wish to give access to their location data to third-party applications.
However, it would seem that what applies for companies and third-party publishers does not really apply to Apple. The American firm was recently pinned down by security researchers, who put their finger on a worrying finding.
Apple tracks usage from iPhone
Tommy Mysk and Talal Haj Bakry are two security experts who work for software publisher Mysk. They are recently discovered thatApple continued to collect data from many in-house apps, even if the iPhone’s “Analytics” setting was disabled.
When this is the case, in theory, no sharing of Device Analytics type data should take place between the iOS device and a remote server. But in practice, the situation is different in particular for iPhone – App Store, Apple Music, Apple TV, Books and Stocks: for these applications, the iPhone continues to send data to the Cupertino company’s remote servers. Behind the user’s back.
Among the data collected, there are in particular the applications searched, the visible advertisements, the duration of use of the applications, the definition of the screen of the smartphone, the language of the keyboard or the type of connection used. “The level of detail is shocking for a company like Apple,” Tommy Mysk told Gizmodo.
It is all the more shocking that Apple forbids this practice to third-party developers who offer their applications on the App Store. Inevitably, this discovery did not fail to react, especially across the Atlantic.
A class action launched against Apple in the United States
This is howa collective action, also called class action, was launched in the United States last Thursday. “Privacy is one of the main points that Apple uses to distinguish its products from its competitors,” explains the complaint filed. “But Apple’s privacy guarantees are completely illusory. »
The class action is being led by Elliot Libman, an American living in New York City who owns an iPhone 13. He has been joined in his complaint by many others and the complaint estimates that it could affect “hundreds of thousands of users “. The media coverage of this case could motivate other owners of iOS devices to seek explanations, but also compensation from Apple. In the meantime, it’s a bad publicity stunt for the company, which has been trying for years to present itself as a white knight of privacy.