By Glenn Peoples
Apple is the target of a class action lawsuit over the way its apps share personal information with outside parties, according to a Bloomberg report. The lawsuit comes a week after a Wall Street Journal article about user information being shared by some popular mobile apps “widely and regularly.”
The lawsuit names applications such as Pandora, Paper Toss, the Weather Channel and Dictionary.com, according to Bloomberg. The Wall Street Journal article claims that in both the Android and iPhone versions of the Pandora app “sent age, gender, location and phone identifiers to various ad networks.” The Journal was told by Pandora and other app makers that the data they pass along to outside firms is not linked to an individual’s name.
Information such as location, phone IDs (which ad networks say is aggregated and anonymous) and time spent using apps are captured by ad networks and used to gather insights into consumer behavior. Ad exchange Mobclix, explains the Journal, can take this information and within a quarter-second place the anonymous consumer in one of 150 consumer segments, such as “soccer moms” or “green enthusiasts.”