ADOTAS – Yikes — first The Wall Street Journal finds a high percentage of iOS and Android apps are sending unique device IDs to third parties without user knowledge or approval and now a class action suit has been filed in California federal court.
Apple claims to review all apps to make sure they don’t transmit user data without customer permission, but WSJ found that wasn’t true in many cases — 56 out of 101 Android and iOS apps tested. According to Bloomberg, the complaint filed on behalf of Jonathan Lalo by Scott A. Kamber and Avi Kreitenberg of KamberLaw LLC also names Pandora, Dictionary.com, The Weather Channel and more app-makers as codefendants.
The suit says UDIDs enable third parties such as ad networks to discover what apps users are downloading as well as frequency and time of use without user knowledge or consent, a violation of federal computer fraud and privacy laws. In addition, the complaint contained the Journal’s claims that certain apps were also giving away user location, age, gender, sexual orientation and more. No comment from Apple yet.
The same day WSJ’s story on mobile apps info giveaway appeared, the Mobile Marketing Association announced a new initiative led by industry privacy guru Alan Chapell of Chapell & Associates to develop a thorough set of mobile privacy guidelines. Timing is everything…