Apple Faces Class Action Lawsuit Over Alleged Tracking of Mobile App Activity

Apple is facing a class action lawsuit over new allegations of tracking mobile app activity without user consent. If true, Apple is in violation of the California Invasion of Privacy Act.

The federal class action lawsuit was brought to the table by Elliot Libman, a New York resident and iPhone 13 user. Libman suggests that Apple’s statements regarding users having control of the information they share when using mobile apps are “utterly false.” According to Bloomberg, Libman filed a lawsuit with the claims that Apple’s device options to control app tracking do nothing.

“Privacy is one of the main issues that Apple uses to set its products apart from competitors,” Libman’s lawsuit states. “But Apple’s privacy guarantees are completely illusory.”

Apple introduced its App Tracking Transparency framework in 2021. The new feature released via iOS 14.5 was designed to show more transparent options in how users shared personal data and how it was collected within each app they used. As part of the App Tracking Transparency initiative, users were also given options to opt-out of data collection from third parties.

Libman’s suit suggests that even if a user opts out of the collection of personal data, Apple is still able to monitor data regarding user browsing and trends in order to monetize such activity. “Apple records, tracks, collects and monetizes analytics data—including browsing history and activity information — regardless of what safeguards or “privacy settings” consumers undertake to protect their privacy,” says the lawsuit.

The lawsuit claims that Apple’s App Store app provides firm examples of how Apple collects a user’s data. It’s suggested that the app records every action a user take, what they navigated to, the ads they saw, how long they scrolled through an app, and what was searched. It continues to state that most apps send data to Apple with ID numbers in order to better allow Apple to track the users across its many services.

“Through its pervasive and unlawful data tracking and collection business, Apple knows even the most intimate and potentially embarrassing aspects of the user’s app usage — regardless of whether the user accepts Apple’s illusory offer to keep such activities private,” the lawsuit continues.

At the time of writing, Apple has not commented on the situation. It’s not yet known what the next action may be regarding the lawsuit.