Apple (NSDQ: AAPL) has been slapped with a class action lawsuit that accuses the company and several prominent app makers of sharing users’ personal identification without consumers’ approval. Some of the app companies named in the suit, which was filed in federal court in San Jose, CA. late last week, include Pandora, the Weather Channel and Dictionary.com, according to a Bloomberg report.
The case, which is seeking a court’s authorization for class action status, centers around the use of the Unique Device Identifier, or UDID, on Apple’s iPhones and iPads. The suit complains that the UDID can’t be blocked by consumers and that Apple shares that info with ad networks and advertisers. Apple says otherwise and that it makes sure that users can’t be “tracked” by marketers through the UDID or anything else without consumers’ permission.
Whether or not Apple is doing anything that violates fraud and privacy laws will be tough to prove, given all the tight terms of service that users regular agree to (though seldom read). Still, it’s another sign that concerns about monitoring consumers’ behavior via their electronic devices is not about to go away anytime soon, as regulators and Congress prepare to take an even closer look at the issue in the new year.