Wednesday, February 15, 2023

Lawsuits Over Apple Analytics Switch


The App Store on macOS 13.2 sends detailed usage data and analytics to Apple. All interactions are associated with the user’s iCloud ID, or dsid. This happens even when you turn off sharing usage data and analytics.


Here’s an example of the analytics sent when I search for “Holy Moly” on the App Store. Everything is logged and associated with the user’s iCloud ID, even when you play a video of an app and click on the unmute button. Data collected can identify a user personally.


The privacy label of the App Store does state that the app collects usage data and links it to the user’s identity. However, the description in the Settings of “Share Mac Analytics” gives the impression that usage data will be turned off with that switch.

Thomas Germain (via Dare Obasanjo):

The company was just hit with a fourth class-action lawsuit over accusations surreptitious iPhone data collection. Three of those lawsuits were filed in January alone.


In November, Gizmodo exclusively reported on research demonstrating that your iPhone collects hyper-detailed data about what you do on its apps, like the App Store, Apple Stocks, Apple Music, Apple News, and more—even when you turn off the iPhone Analytics privacy setting, which explicitly promises to stop the snooping.


Gizmodo contacted Apple about this problem for the seventh time this morning, which has to be another record breaker. As happened the previous six times, the company didn’t respond. Apple hasn’t said a single word to defend this privacy issue in public.


Update (2023-03-14): Mysk:

Apple is facing two more class action lawsuits for “its practice of harvesting data from iPhones and its other consumer personal computing devices”

Now the total number of lawsuits settles at 20, all of which are based on the “Mysk Study”

Update (2023-03-23): Mysk:

Another class action lawsuit against Apple for deceptively and systematically violating wiretapping, privacy, and consumer fraud laws for its own financial gain.

Update (2023-06-16): Mysk:

Craig Federighi: “The data that’s interesting to train these [AI] models is data that is publicly available data, not personal data. We do not need your personal data to make our systems smart. And when we need to get specific data for a specific person, we’re not doing that by spying on people we’re gonna go out and get it the right way.”

Such public statements about respecting users privacy are the reason why #Apple is facing 21 class action lawsuits for collecting exhaustive usage data in the App Store app and linking it to the user’s identity without providing an option to opt out.

Update (2024-02-20): Mysk:

Users should be aware that the App Store collects exhaustive usage data and sends it to #Apple. This can’t be turned off. We made this video to show how tapping an app link gets recorded in details.

After tapping a link posted on X, we requested a copy of the Apple ID data and we found this: (76,779 records in 734 days 🤯)

3 Comments RSS · Twitter · Mastodon

Typical Tim Cook.

They keep beating that services drum. This comes with the territory. I’m glad for this lawsuit, but they’re making far too much money for things to change anytime soon.

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