Are iPad and iPhone apps leaking personal data?

iPhone app developers named in class action suit against Apple from users claiming personal data is being shared with advertisers

Apple is facing two class actions lawsuit in the US from complainants that claim that app developers have been leaking personally identifiable data from their iPads and iPhones.

The aggrieved iPad and iPhone users say that Apple needs to do more to enforce its privacy policies.

Mobile web browsing history

Complainants in the latest lawsuits against Apple claim that the data harvested by some app developers represent "personal, identifying information" that very easily allows advertisers to track an individual's app use, web browsing history and other personal information.

The lawyers behind one of the class action lawsuits are also considering legal action against Google over similar personal data leaks from Android phone apps.

Backflip Studios (the makers of the popular Paper Toss game), the Weather Channel, and a number of other mobile apps others have been named as potential data-leaking culprits in the lawsuits.

Non-anonymised data

Researchers from Bucknell University recently proved that so-called "anonymized" demographic information from app developers can be pieced together using an iPhone's unique UDID number to effectively identify individual users.

"Researchers have known for more than a decade that gender plus ZIP code plus birthdate uniquely identifies a significant percentage of Americans," adds law professor Paul Ohm.

However, some analysts are dismissive of the latest class action lawsuits against Apple.

Trip Chowdhry, Global Equities research analyst, told Reuters:"If this were a major issue, all web browsers would have to shut down and there would not be any advertising on the internet."

Via Ars Technica