Apple accused of selling iTunes customers’ listening data

“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,’” Robert Burnson and Edvard Pettersson report for Bloomberg.

“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,” Burnson and Pettersson report. “‘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 $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 $136 per thousand customers listed.’”

Burnson and Pettersson report, “They seek $250 for each Rhode Island iTunes customer whose information was disclosed and $5,000 for each one in Michigan, under the states’ respective privacy laws.”

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