Apple Sued for Tracking Users’ Activity

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Apple has concentrated on user privacy over the last few years. The iPhone manufacturer has argued about the matter with other Big Tech firms, most notably Meta, which owns Facebook. Platforms like Facebook have lost billions of dollars in revenue as a result of Apple’s attempts to preserve customer data.

However, it now appears that Apple has been gathering user data on its own, even if users had specifically adjusted their settings to prevent the corporation from doing so. Apple is currently being sued.

The software company Mysk’s Tommy Mysk and Talal Haj Bakry, who work as app developers and security experts, recently discovered that iOS sends “every tap you make” to Apple from inside one of the business’s own apps. The developers claim that attempts to prevent the collecting of this data, such as using the Settings option to “block the sharing of Device Analytics completely,” had no effect on the data’s transmission.

Additionally, the data being gathered is very thorough. The App Store on an iPhone would send a user’s search information, what they clicked on, and how long they spent looking at an app in real-time to Apple, as noted by Gizmodo. Utilizing the Apple Stocks app? The user’s watched stocks, any articles they read in-app, and the names of any stocks they looked up will all be sent to Apple. Also transmitted along are the timestamps for when a user read stock information. Even more specific information on the user’s iPhone, including the model, screen resolution, and keyboard language, is gathered by a few Apple apps.

Mysk performed the test using an iPhone running iOS 14.6 that had been jailbroken. With an iPhone running iOS 16 that wasn’t hacked, the team found identical iPhone behavior. Mysk was unable to precisely identify the data being sent on the device running the most recent operating system owing to encryption.

The California Invasion of Privacy Act is allegedly violated by Apple’s conduct, according to a class action lawsuit filed on Thursday. The fact that Apple is gathering this data is not a major focus of the case. The lawsuit focuses on Apple settings that give consumers the impression that they can turn off such tracking, including “Allow Apps to Request to Track” and “Share Analytics.”

The fact that Apple, or any digital business, gathers user data shouldn’t come as much of a surprise. Although users have the ability to turn off data collection in their settings, as the team at Mysk found, Apple is still collecting this information, possibly providing consumers a false sense of privacy.

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