December 28, 2010
This isn’t surprising. A number of high profile app developers are being sued for collecting personal information from unsuspecting users. The class action complaint was filed in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California. The developers of the following apps are named as defendants: Pandora, Dictionary.com, Toss It, Text4Plus, The Weather Channel, Talking Tom Cat, and Pimple Popper Lite. Apple was also named as a defendant in the case. As we reported earlier this month, The Wall Street Journal concluded that many of the most popular apps collect some combination of information from app users. This information includes location, unique serial number identifiers for the iPhone, and personal details such as age and sex. The Journal listed 101 of the top selling apps and identified which type of personal information is collected from each. Except for Toss It, all of the apps mentioned in the court filing were on The Journal's list. The plaintiffs in this case believe personal information is being sent from developers to advertisers without obtaining permission from those using the apps. The complaint states:
Plaintiffs’ valuable UDID information, demographic information, location information, as well as their application usage habits is a valuable commodity that they could have sold to research firms. Plaintiffs also consider this information to be personal and private. Such information was taken from them without their knowledge or consent. Plaintiffs should be compensated for this harm. Plaintiffs are entitled to compensation for this invasion of their privacy.Depending on how this case is resolved, it could lead to changes as to what type of information can be collected by app developers. More importantly, it could decide whether that information can then be passed on to a third party, such as an advertiser. What are your thoughts on this issue? Leave your comments below.
Pandora Media, Inc.
Dictionary.com - Dictionary & Thesaurus - Free
textPlus Free Texting + Group Text
The Weather Channel®
The Weather Channel Interactive
Talking Tom Cat
Pimple Popper Lite
Room Candy Games