The study by the Wall Street journal examined 101 apps and what kind of user and personal information was sent back to the app developer. The study showed that 56 of the apps transmitter the users unique user ID. Forty-seven of the apps transmitted the users location. Five apps sent age, gender and other personal information. Remember all this is without the users knowledge.
The study clearly stated that despite Apple’s strict development and app store infrastructure the problem was more prevalent in Apple apps. Apple has a vetting period for app developers that can last anywhere from 5 days to a month. During this time the app is reviewed and deemed ready for the app store. Android on the other hand is open and everything gets through, however every app tells the user what resources are being used by the phone and what conflicts they may cause.
More after the break
It is because Apple has such a strict control over their app stores, that they are being sued in Northern California court. Majed Nachawati, one of the lawyers who filed the suit said “Apple knew this was an issue…They had a duty to warn consumers and at a minimum, if they intend to profit from this, they need to let people know and get their consent.”
Nachawati named Apple, Pandora, Dictionary.com, Toss it, Text 4plus, The Weather Channel, Talking Tom Cat, and Pimple Popper Lite and more.
Nachawati and the other lawyers bringing the suit on behalf of Dustin Freeman, Jared Parsley, Cole Parr, and Precious Arrington, and others similarly suited, are seeking to bring a class action suit. Although both Apple and Google were named in the Wall Street Journal piece, they didn’t seek to sue Google because they do not scrutinize apps in the manner that apple does.
The suit said:
Defendant Apple, by exercising significant control over App developers and sharing profits with them, has created a “community of interest” with the other Defendants to render them joint ventures, who are responsible for each other’s torts. Defendant Apple has also aided and abetted the remaining Defendants in the commission of their legal wrongs against Plaintiffs and the proposed class.