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Apple accused of selling iTunes customers' listening data
[SAN FRANCISCO] Apple Inc was sued by customers who claim the company is unlawfully disclosing and selling information about people's iTunes purchases as well as their personal data, contrary to the company's promise in advertising that "what happens on your iPhone stays on your iPhone".
Three iTunes customers from Rhode Island and Michigan sued Friday in federal court in San Francisco seeking to represent hundreds of thousands of residents of their home states who allegedly had their personal listening information disclosed without their consent.
The disclosure of iTunes customers' personal data isn't only unlawful but can also be dangerous because it allows for targeting vulnerable members of society, according to the complaint.
"For example, any person or entity could rent a list with the names and addresses of all unmarried, college-educated women over the age of 70 with a household income of over US$80,000 who purchased country music from Apple via its iTunes Store mobile application," the customers said. "Such a list is available for sale for approximately US$136 per thousand customers listed."
They seek US$250 for each Rhode Island iTunes customer whose information was disclosed and US$5,000 for each one in Michigan, under the states' respective privacy laws.
Representatives of Apple didn't immediately respond to a request for comment on the lawsuit.
The case is Wheaton v Apple Inc, 19-cv-02883, US District Court, Northern District of California (San Francisco).