Apple Sued for Allegedly Deceiving Users With Privacy Settings

DukenukemX

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Turns out Apple billboards telling you they have the best privacy is not to be trusted. Google does a better job respecting your privacy than Apple when you switch that setting on your device.

The problem was spotted by two independent researchers at the software company Mysk, who found that the Apple App Store sends the company exhaustive information about nearly everything a user does in the app, despite a privacy setting, iPhone Analytics, which claims to “disable the sharing of Device Analytics altogether” when switched off. Gizmodo asked the researchers to run additional tests on other iPhone apps, including Apple Music, Apple TV, Books, and Stocks. The researchers found that the problem persists across most of Apple’s suite of built-in iPhone apps.

https://www.gizmodo.com.au/2022/11/...rs-with-privacy-settings-after-gizmodo-story/

 

Zepher

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Not sure what I think about this. You are on an Apple Device browsing on an Apple App Store, logged in with your Apple ID, so they already know who is surfing the App store, they also know what device you are using so I don't see what the problem is.
 

Mchart

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But, that only disables it for 3rd parties, we at Apple care about your privacy so we are sure we collect EVERYTHING for your safety, and then sell it ourselves to keep padding out pockets....we swear, it is anonymized...
They aren't selling the data. If there was any evidence that they were, this would be a much bigger deal.
 

Verge

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Looks like APM data to me, you know how many websites do this without you even knowing? How else would you know if there was a potential problem?
 

LukeTbk

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They aren't selling the data. If there was any evidence that they were, this would be a much bigger deal.
From my understanding very often the money for those company is not on selling raw data, Facebook is not much about selling data either (allegedly there is zero sell of data), more money to be made to sell an intelligent use of closely kept for yourself users data (like targeted ads).
 

sc5mu93

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just like battery gate, this is just an unadvertised feature for user's own good.
 

UnknownSouljer

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Apple is totally the only megacorp doing this and all of the rest are completely innocent and would never do such a thing. ;)
That is of course totally the joke here. Very popular to rah rah for your tribe while ignoring the exact same things going on inside it.

If you're not using a dumb phone (which can still be tracked in other ways, just not through user browsing behaviors) and avoiding the internet, all of this still applies.
 

UnknownSouljer

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Only if you accept their products.
I don't expect you read all the post or mine for that matter, but if you're using Google products, namely iPhones main competitor Android, and you think you're doing any better privacy wise you are absolutely kidding yourself.
In fact you should avoid all phones and the internet period to have any chance what-so-ever.
 

LigTasm

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Who says only weirdos value privacy? IMO the weirdos are the ones who think that it's weird to value privacy.

Only if you accept their products.
US is fast becoming like China and people don't even care.

My point is, you have to take their word for it. Who actually knows if those privacy settings actually do something or the "researchers" who write articles about it didn't get a nice check to say certain things. Since its nearly impossible to verify I just assume everything I do is being tracked.
 

PeaKr

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Privacy is like freedom, you're gonna have to fight for it, do what you can. imo, beats giving up. I use google pixel phones with grapheneOS, brave, adguard and open source apps, seems to do pretty well.
 

HockeyJon

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Only if you accept their products.
US is fast becoming like China and people don't even care.

True, I guess I can ditch my Apple or Android device for one that won’t spy on me. Like, maybe….ummmmm…..Blackberry?
 

Aurelius

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It's good to keep Apple accountable, as mentioned earlier. At the same time, this isn't quite a horrible affront to humanity; it's a problem to fix.

As it stands, it's amusing to see folks decry Apple as terrible for something like this, but raise relatively little objection over the everyday Android phone in their pocket. Especially if it's from Samsung, a company whose practices make Apple look squeaky clean.
 

LZ_Xray

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The only phone that doesn’t spy on you without your knowledge, equally as bad as all the others
1668608471968.jpeg
 

DukenukemX

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My point is, you have to take their word for it. Who actually knows if those privacy settings actually do something or the "researchers" who write articles about it didn't get a nice check to say certain things. Since its nearly impossible to verify I just assume everything I do is being tracked.
Apple should open source iOS and that would solve everything. You can take the source codes word for privacy.

True, I guess I can ditch my Apple or Android device for one that won’t spy on me. Like, maybe….ummmmm…..Blackberry?
Or install another derivative of Android like LineageOS. They have source code.
 

MrGuvernment

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Looks like APM data to me, you know how many websites do this without you even knowing? How else would you know if there was a potential problem?
The issue is the blatent lie about what they collect and claim they do not collect when you turn it off. They could jsut state they collect user usage data to better optimise and provide better services (like MS does) but instead they straights up said you can disable the data collection options = which does nothing.

Apple’s privacy settings make explicit promises about shut off that kind of tracking. But in the tests, turning the iPhone Analytics setting off had no evident effect on the data collection, nor did any of the iPhone’s other built-in settings meant to protect your privacy from Apple’s data collection.
 

MrGuvernment

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Apple should open source iOS and that would solve everything. You can take the source codes word for privacy.


Or install another derivative of Android like LineageOS. They have source code.
Is Android not fairly open sourced? Look how they do...

Reality is 99% of the population does not care about their privacy, or are just too short sighted to realize what they are actually giving up and how it can impact their lives later.
 

Aurelius

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Is Android not fairly open sourced? Look how they do...

Reality is 99% of the population does not care about their privacy, or are just too short sighted to realize what they are actually giving up and how it can impact their lives later.
Source code definitely isn't a guarantee of privacy. That and it's a bit amusing to hear people cry "Android is open source!" when the flavors of Android nearly everyone uses have closed-source code in the OS and apps. It's a bit like claiming that macOS is open because you can poke around the Darwin kernel.

People are learning to care about privacy, but I'll agree that many either don't or have only the most basic understanding of it. Again, I don't think Apple committed a horrendous offense, but it should be either honest about its practices or curb them.
 

MrGuvernment

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They aren't selling the data. If there was any evidence that they were, this would be a much bigger deal.
They internalize it to financially benefit themselves. Or just let it leak out to 3rd parties they contract services to...
 

DukenukemX

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Source code definitely isn't a guarantee of privacy. That and it's a bit amusing to hear people cry "Android is open source!" when the flavors of Android nearly everyone uses have closed-source code in the OS and apps. It's a bit like claiming that macOS is open because you can poke around the Darwin kernel.
The issue with Android is that the phone manufacturers don't usually allow users to replace the OS or to even remove the included apps. One of the included apps is the tracking software they almost always include. There are people who make roms called detox that basically means they removed all the crapware that comes with your Android phone. It depends on the phone manufacturer but HTC did make a phone that came with CyanogenMod instead of whatever flavor Android OS they would come up with, which was great transparency in that HTC itself would not spy on you. Apple is just asking you to trust them, which obviously doesn't work. It's always better to open source your OS so at least people can see what exactly the code is doing, and modify it if they choose to do so.

os updates meme.jpg

People are learning to care about privacy, but I'll agree that many either don't or have only the most basic understanding of it. Again, I don't think Apple committed a horrendous offense, but it should be either honest about its practices or curb them.
Many people don't care until it effects them. The problem is people don't understand that it already is effecting them. People should care because what can and usually does happen is that the data companies sell can and will be acquired by groups of people who want to take your money. This is why whenever you find out that your password has been leaked, that's because someone had data about you they shouldn't and their servers or whatever was hacked by an exploit that was known 10 years ago. Apple says they weren't collecting data and they were. At this point I would assume Apple is selling this data to organizations who could leak your info out. There's no good reason to collect data other than to sell it.
 

MrGuvernment

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https://www.linkedin.com/posts/bob-...lr?utm_source=share&utm_medium=member_desktop

But Apple, you said:
1669139061736.jpg

Apple: Your Privacy Isn't Private.

If you have never run Wireshark on your iPhone, this may shock you: Apple isn't private. No single device "talks" back to their mothership as much as an Apple device does. Data such as your location, what you are browsing, who you are talking to, who you are messaging, what you are saying, when you are saying it, where you are saying it, which apps you use, you get the idea here.

This is according to my own "running Wireshark on an iPhone" as well as research conducted by Mysk. Mysk has been publishing their findings that link individual phone use to data being sent to Apple. The "Job's World" has begun encrypting the sent data but it still uses a unique customer ID that may be linked to each user, each device, each session.

If security and privacy are a concern for your organization and you use iPhones, you may want to consider other ways to protect your assets (data). Sending data back to the mothership isn't anything new, but claiming that their product is all about privacy is nuts.


the proof to go with it:
https://twitter.com/mysk_co/status/1588308341780262912?s=20&t=rBaiv_sJyr3rHPRQOX96-Q
 

gvx64

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People are learning to care about privacy, but I'll agree that many either don't or have only the most basic understanding of it. Again, I don't think Apple committed a horrendous offense, but it should be either honest about its practices or curb them.
You know that is what this feels like. People are starting to wake up and starting to care about privacy and are beginning to understand that down the road there is a 1:1 relationship between privacy and freedom.

The problem is that the situation is really bad and so much bigger than 1 lawsuit that it almost seems futile to resist. The reality is that the entire tech industry needs to be reformed which will probably require a complete replacement of leadership of entire said industry. I have no idea how that will be accomplished. Certainly this lawsuit against Apple is a small drop in the ocean but it is better than where we were 5 years ago when it was an absurd conspiracy theory to even talk about this stuff. The first step towards fixing a problem is to recognize and admit how much trouble you're in and I think that this might be the start of that recognition occurring in the public, at large.
 

MrGuvernment

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You know that is what this feels like. People are starting to wake up and starting to care about privacy and are beginning to understand that down the road there is a 1:1 relationship between privacy and freedom.

The problem is that the situation is really bad and so much bigger than 1 lawsuit that it almost seems futile to resist. The reality is that the entire tech industry needs to be reformed which will probably require a complete replacement of leadership of entire said industry. I have no idea how that will be accomplished. Certainly this lawsuit against Apple is a small drop in the ocean but it is better than where we were 5 years ago when it was an absurd conspiracy theory to even talk about this stuff. The first step towards fixing a problem is to recognize and admit how much trouble you're in and I think that this might be the start of that recognition occurring in the public, at large.
Apple will get a slap on the wrist, have to pay a couple million, or 10's of millions and will keep doing it, just as Google has over and over after all their slaps on the wrist from their violations...

Easier to pay for forgiveness, than to ask for permissions with big tech.
 

Red Falcon

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Apple will get a slap on the wrist, have to pay a couple million, or 10's of millions and will keep doing it, just as Google has over and over after all their slaps on the wrist from their violations...

Easier to pay for forgiveness, than to ask for permissions with big tech.
This would be like a normal person illegally earning $1000 USD, and then getting fined $10 USD with nothing else happening.
Oh yeah, that person totally won't do it again!

EvlCJXxU4AU1IIb?format=jpg&name=small.jpg
 

madpistol

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Newsflash: Everything is spying on you nowadays.
Also Newsflash: Google sells your data to 3rd parties.
Another Newsflash: Apple DOES NOT sell your data to 3rd parties.

That's the difference.

If you don't want to have your data collected, feel free to log off the internet, shut down your device, and move to log cabin where you can hunt for your own food, chop your own wood, and make everything you need from scratch. As soon as you purchase something, you will be back on the map and being tracked again.

I would say you should move to Mars, but the truth is we have so many satellites orbiting that planet looking for signs of life that you will probably be tracked even harder there... ads attempting to sell you water and air.
 

Aurelius

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Newsflash: Everything is spying on you nowadays.
Also Newsflash: Google sells your data to 3rd parties.
Another Newsflash: Apple DOES NOT sell your data to 3rd parties.

That's the difference.

If you don't want to have your data collected, feel free to log off the internet, shut down your device, and move to log cabin where you can hunt for your own food, chop your own wood, and make everything you need from scratch. As soon as you purchase something, you will be back on the map and being tracked again.

I would say you should move to Mars, but the truth is we have so many satellites orbiting that planet looking for signs of life that you will probably be tracked even harder there... ads attempting to sell you water and air.
It's important not to let Apple off the hook, but it is true that Apple is still generally more respectful of data privacy.

And crucially, moral absolutism doesn't last long in the tech world. It's important to consider privacy, but the folks who are completely rigid about it don't have many choices for things they can actually do. I'm reminded of the more extreme FOSS advocates and how they're ironically more limited than even a Chinese iPhone user; their insistence on all-open-source-everything means they refuse to even access many common websites, let alone software. There's a point at which idealism in tech (and many other fields, really) crosses over from noble to absurd.
 

sc5mu93

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Newsflash: Everything is spying on you nowadays.
Also Newsflash: Google sells your data to 3rd parties.
Another Newsflash: Apple DOES NOT sell your data to 3rd parties.

That's the difference.

If you don't want to have your data collected, feel free to log off the internet, shut down your device, and move to log cabin where you can hunt for your own food, chop your own wood, and make everything you need from scratch. As soon as you purchase something, you will be back on the map and being tracked again.

I would say you should move to Mars, but the truth is we have so many satellites orbiting that planet looking for signs of life that you will probably be tracked even harder there... ads attempting to sell you water and air.
Can this be said for certain? Apple has provisions in place to block 3rd parties from collecting user information, however it looks like Apple collects data in their homegrown apps (regardless of privacy settings) and sends it back to the mothership. Do we know that they don't sell it at that point?
 

UnknownSouljer

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Can this be said for certain? Apple has provisions in place to block 3rd parties from collecting user information, however it looks like Apple collects data in their homegrown apps (regardless of privacy settings) and sends it back to the mothership. Do we know that they don't sell it at that point?
We would generally be able to see sales because there would be reporting about it. Selling this information is big business, it's not "a million or two" (in other words a sum of money they can't just "hide"). It would have to be disclosed to investors and it would have to be in all of their financial statements because they are a publicly traded company. If they don't disclose money on their balance sheets, that's a FAR bigger penalty than any slap on the wrist they get for playing around in tech "grey zones" (don't mess with the IRS, they have no sense of humor and you can't escape their fines). In other words, the most basic investigative journalist would mention the sale of data that Apple is doing by simply going through all of their publicly available financial statements.

tl;dr: They're either a major data player or they're not. Selling information for a few million is meaningless to them and if they're at the scale of Amazon, Facebook, Google, or Microsoft they'd either have a massive balance sheet discrepancy or have disclosure to shareholders.
100% certain: no. Reasonably certain: yes.
 
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LurkerLito

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Newsflash: Everything is spying on you nowadays.
Also Newsflash: Google sells your data to 3rd parties.
Another Newsflash: Apple DOES NOT sell your data to 3rd parties.

That's the difference.
And yet that is not much of a difference. Apple might not SELL your data directly to 3rd parties, but it has your data gathered and available to search through. It's probably searchable by 3rd parties indirectly through some API that can be accessed, if it couldn't then there could be a way to do personalized ads on Apple devices. See the thing about Apple is they want to be the King. You aren't allowed to do what you want on their platform, but you can get access to what you need through them if you pay Apple, but everything can only be accessed/gathered by Apple. Google on the other hand is more in line with capitalism where 3rd parties can get what they need for the right price even a copy of the data Google has collected, 3rd parties can try to gather that kind of data themselves on their own dime and Google won't stop them, but Google is still in charge of the underlying system so 3rd parties can't do it nearly as well. So in the end it's the same type of poison, it's just different ways on how the poison is created and works.
 

UnknownSouljer

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And yet that is not much of a difference. Apple might not SELL your data directly to 3rd parties, but it has your data gathered and available to search through. It's probably searchable by 3rd parties indirectly through some API that can be accessed, if it couldn't then there could be a way to do personalized ads on Apple devices. See the thing about Apple is they want to be the King. You aren't allowed to do what you want on their platform, but you can get access to what you need through them if you pay Apple, but everything can only be accessed/gathered by Apple.
This is actually specifically what Apple his been disrupting. Specifically the advertisement industry. Hence all of the headlines about Facebook losing tons of cash through advertisements because of not being able to track unique identifiers.

If there was an Apple API capable of doing this for third parties, then literally Apple's tracking ban would have done nothing. Those same advertisers would be able to take Apple's anonymized user data, pair it up reasonably well with whatever data collection was left by Facebook, and continue to have the exact same level of targeted advertising as before.

In fact, if such an API existed Facebook has the programming prowess to connect that with their ad machine. As does Google. Targeted ads would likely be 3x worse for iPhone users with that much wholesale data available to them. Even if it costed Facebook 10% of their ad revenue, it would probably bolster their business multiplicatively. They’d be able to target to the individual user level, down to gender, ethnicity, where they live, income level, all Apple devices they own, and all of their buyer behavior.

Apple for the most part seems to collect user data for product improvement as their primary motivation. Now, I'm not naive. It's not as if they couldn't be doing something more nefarious with the data, but for the time being it isn't. That's probably the more "scary" proposition, the time in the future in which they decide to not be as privacy friendly.
Google on the other hand is more in line with capitalism where 3rd parties can get what they need for the right price even a copy of the data Google has collected, 3rd parties can try to gather that kind of data themselves on their own dime and Google won't stop them, but Google is still in charge of the underlying system so 3rd parties can't do it nearly as well. So in the end it's the same type of poison, it's just different ways on how the poison is created and works.
Erm, Google is at least as coporatistic as Apple. At minimum. If not worse.
 
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Ididar

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This is actually specifically what Apple his been disrupting. Specifically the advertisement industry. Hence all of the headlines about Facebook losing tons of cash through advertisements because of not being able to track unique identifiers.

If there was an Apple API capable of doing this for third parties, then literally Apple's tracking ban would have done nothing. Those same advertisers would be able to take Apple's anonymized user data, pair it up reasonably well with whatever data collection was left by Facebook, and continue to have the exact same level of targeted advertising as before.
Isn't that exactly what Apple is doing right now in growing their advertising arm in apps (theirs and others)? They want to monetize that data, not by selling the data but to use that data to sell ads. You want to make good money on Apple platforms you'll have to use their advertising system and pay them handsomely for it. Everyone else's advertising gets hamstrung except Apple's advertising platform. They start by degrading everyone else's ability to identify people and then start their own platform that'll do the same thing.
 

UnknownSouljer

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Isn't that exactly what Apple is doing right now in growing their advertising arm in apps (theirs and others)? They want to monetize that data, not by selling the data but to use that data to sell ads. You want to make good money on Apple platforms you'll have to use their advertising system and pay them handsomely for it. Everyone else's advertising gets hamstrung except Apple's advertising platform. They start by degrading everyone else's ability to identify people and then start their own platform that'll do the same thing.
Please give us a link to this API and/or advertisement service.
 
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