or Connect
AppleInsider › Forums › Mobile › iPhone › Apple says iPhone tracking lawsuit doesn't demonstrate harm
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Apple says iPhone tracking lawsuit doesn't demonstrate harm

post #1 of 62
Thread Starter 
Apple is looking to block a class action lawsuit that claims the company wrongfully collected and distributed data from millions of customers' mobile devices, on the grounds that the plaintiffs in the case cannot prove their claims.

watching you
Example of iOS geographical data plotting. | Source: O'Reilly Radar


Apple legal representatives asked U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh at a hearing on Wednesday to deny a request from the plaintiffs' counsel to designate their case as a class action suit, Bloomberg reports. The suit is the same one Judge Koh said last year that Apple must defend against, though multiple defendants have been dropped from the claims.

The plaintiffs allege that Apple has allowed free apps from its iTunes App Store to gather personal information without their consent. Apple, they claim, gathered data on their geographical locations through apps on their iPhones and iPads even after they had signaled that they did not want such information collected.

Apple claims that the plaintiffs have failed to prove that any tracking resulted in harm to them. The lawyers for the plaintiffs recently dropped their claims to damages, Apple argued, and have only attempted to gain class-action status "in a desperate attempt" to recover fees.

Previously, AdMarvel Inc, Admob Inc, Flurry Inc, and Google had been named as defendants in the case, but all have been dropped since the case began, leaving only Apple.

The suit hinged upon apps' access to a mobile device's unique device identifier (UDID), a number given to each wireless iDevice allowing ad agencies to track usage across apps. Apple has begun restricting UDID usage by apps, as well as rejecting some apps that use the code, but a few are still allowed to access the UDID.
post #2 of 62
That sounds liek a pretty bad argument to me.
If Apple can win on this, any other company can just harvest any information, whether or not the people signal their opposition... as long as they can't demonstrate that it "causes harm to them".

To me, that data harvesting causes harm because it stresses these people. I hope Apple loses on that one (but if it were Samsung, it'd be the same, it's not an Apple issue, it's a privacy rights issue).

I'm pretty sure anyone who bashed Brin yesterday about those "stalking glasses" will agree with me that Apple's doing the same mistake as he, here.

Social Capitalist, dreamer and wise enough to know I'm never going to grow up anyway... so not trying anymore.

Reply

Social Capitalist, dreamer and wise enough to know I'm never going to grow up anyway... so not trying anymore.

Reply
post #3 of 62

Meanwhile that little "problem" where Google allows developers to know your real name and e-mail (among other things) seems to have disappeared.

Author of The Fuel Injection Bible

Reply

Author of The Fuel Injection Bible

Reply
post #4 of 62
I don't give a shit if a company knows my location. What I care about is does a company have policies in place where you must agree to share your e-mail address with a third party. Facebook and Google make you share it with Zynga if you want to play their game. Apple doesn't. This I like. This is all I care about.
Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of a rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
Reply
Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of a rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
Reply
post #5 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by lightknight View Post

That sounds liek a pretty bad argument to me.
If Apple can win on this, any other company can just harvest any information, whether or not the people signal their opposition... as long as they can't demonstrate that it "causes harm to them".

To me, that data harvesting causes harm because it stresses these people. I hope Apple loses on that one (but if it were Samsung, it'd be the same, it's not an Apple issue, it's a privacy rights issue).

I'm pretty sure anyone who bashed Brin yesterday about those "stalking glasses" will agree with me that Apple's doing the same mistake as he, here.

You're missing the point.

For anyone to actually be harmed, they have to:
1. Have location services turned on
2. Use their phone for a while
this is the big one:
3. Give their phone to someone else who can manually access this history.
and
4. Since the history is only one of which cell towers you were near, you have to show the harm from someone knowing retroactively (after they have access to your phone) where you were within a 5 mile radius.

It's just not that easy to figure out how someone is harmed by someone knowing that last November they visited Boston.
"I'm way over my head when it comes to technical issues like this"
Gatorguy 5/31/13
Reply
"I'm way over my head when it comes to technical issues like this"
Gatorguy 5/31/13
Reply
post #6 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by EricTheHalfBee View Post

Meanwhile that little "problem" where Google allows developers to know your real name and e-mail (among other things) seems to have disappeared.

Of course. The analysts are still busy driving AAPL down and pumping Google up.
"I'm way over my head when it comes to technical issues like this"
Gatorguy 5/31/13
Reply
"I'm way over my head when it comes to technical issues like this"
Gatorguy 5/31/13
Reply
post #7 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post

You're missing the point.

For anyone to actually be harmed, they have to:
1. Have location services turned on
2. Use their phone for a while
this is the big one:
3. Give their phone to someone else who can manually access this history.
and
4. Since the history is only one of which cell towers you were near, you have to show the harm from someone knowing retroactively (after they have access to your phone) where you were within a 5 mile radius.

It's just not that easy to figure out how someone is harmed by someone knowing that last November they visited Boston.
Wow, mister privacy is ok with a breach as long as it's Apple allowing the breaching? I seem to recall another recent thread where you claimed that people were foolish to let Google anonymously track their location using the same cell tower method that you claim here is innocuous. Inconsistencies in your opinion aside, you don't have to physically hand someone your phone and let them look at your location history for it to be accessed. This lawsuit came about because apps were accessing this information, giving developers remote access.
post #8 of 62
Can a UDID be mapped back to a real person? If all the tracking shows is that *an iPhone* has been to these places, I don't see the problem.
post #9 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by wakefinance View Post

Wow, mister privacy is ok with a breach as long as it's Apple allowing the breaching? I seem to recall another recent thread where you claimed that people were foolish to let Google anonymously track their location using the same cell tower method that you claim here is innocuous.

So you've shown that you have a good imagination. I never said any such thing.

There's a world of difference between the two matters. Apple was simply stating which cell tower was closest (which was actually necessary for decent phone service, anyway). Google collects mountains of private information about you specifically and what you are doing.

If you can't see the difference between "you were somewhere around Boston 6 months ago" and "you purchased $52 worth of lingerie at 1273 Bowdon St on January 13", then there's no point even discussing it.

Furthermore, Apple didn't do anything with that data. Google routinely sells it.
"I'm way over my head when it comes to technical issues like this"
Gatorguy 5/31/13
Reply
"I'm way over my head when it comes to technical issues like this"
Gatorguy 5/31/13
Reply
post #10 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by wakefinance View Post


Wow, mister privacy is ok with a breach as long as it's Apple allowing the breaching? I seem to recall another recent thread where you claimed that people were foolish to let Google anonymously track their location using the same cell tower method that you claim here is innocuous. Inconsistencies in your opinion aside, you don't have to physically hand someone your phone and let them look at your location history for it to be accessed. This lawsuit came about because apps were accessing this information, giving developers remote access.

But in this case, the data was never "harvested" for Apple.  It was available only to the user of the phone and was NOT, as you claim, available to other apps using the phone.

post #11 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post


So you've shown that you have a good imagination. I never said any such thing.

There's a world of difference between the two matters. Apple was simply stating which cell tower was closest (which was actually necessary for decent phone service, anyway). Google collects mountains of private information about you specifically and what you are doing.

If you can't see the difference between "you were somewhere around Boston 6 months ago" and "you purchased $52 worth of lingerie at 1273 Bowdon St on January 13", then there's no point even discussing it.

Furthermore, Apple didn't do anything with that data. Google routinely sells it.

 

http://forums.appleinsider.com/t/156107/google-steps-further-into-the-hardware-fray-announces-touchscreen-chromebook-pixel/80#post_2282196

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post

Every time you use Google Maps, they track your location. Every time you use their search, you become a target for ads. Everything in your gmail account is theirs to use as they wish.
 
As far as location is concerned, Google also only collects cell tower information unless you are in the Maps application, actively using GPS, which is the same case on the iPhone.
 
Again, Google does not sell your information.  They use it to sell ads, but the clients whose ads were sold to you never know to whom those ads were sold or even know information about "anonymous phone user #5698441538".  Any proof you have to the contrary would be accepted, but since, as I said in the same thread from which I linked your quote, I work as an intern for an e-commerce company that places ads on search engines including Google, I know you won't find any.
post #12 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by Steven N. View Post

But in this case, the data was never "harvested" for Apple.  It was available only to the user of the phone and was NOT, as you claim, available to other apps using the phone.

Did you read the article?  It says "Apple has allowed free apps from its iTunes App Store to gather personal information without their consent."

post #13 of 62
Originally Posted by wakefinance View Post
Did you read the article?  It says "Apple has allowed free apps from its iTunes App Store to gather personal information without their consent."

 

Thanks for playing. Maybe you missed the word "alleged" earlier in the sentence. Happens to everyone, but probably not you, since your entire argument hinges on it not being there.

Originally Posted by asdasd

This is Appleinsider. It's all there for you but we can't do it for you.
Reply

Originally Posted by asdasd

This is Appleinsider. It's all there for you but we can't do it for you.
Reply
post #14 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post

Furthermore, Apple didn't do anything with that data. Google routinely sells it.

JR, take a few minutes to educate yourself. You don't do the forum members any favor by continuing to spread misinformation, and worse even after being corrected more than once on the issue. Google does not sell user data any more than Apple does. That explains why you've never been able to offer any citations whenever you've made the claim they do. 

 

Holding a different opinion, or having a different outlook is one thing. We obviously disagree on a lot of things. Your clear posting of untruths (to be polite) is quite another. Why add to the mountains of FUD?

melior diabolus quem scies
Reply
melior diabolus quem scies
Reply
post #15 of 62
The fact that Google is doing worse doesn't change that this was bad. If people hadn't noticed that could have been used for bad purposes.
post #16 of 62

OK, so you have an imagination and you can't read. Let's review.

You stated that I said it was bad when Google routinely tracks your information from cell towers.

What I actually said was that it was bad that Google tracks your location every time you use Google Maps - wihch uses GPS information.

See the difference?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post

JR, take a few minutes to educate yourself. You don't do the forum members any favor by continuing to spread misinformation, and worse even after being corrected more than once on the issue. Google does not sell user data any more than Apple does. That explains why you've never been able to offer any citations whenever you've made the claim they do. 

Holding a different opinion, or having a different outlook is one thing. We obviously disagree on a lot of things. Your clear posting of untruths (to be polite) is quite another. Why add to the mountains of FUD?

Well, you'd be the expert on mountains of FUD - because you contribute most of it.

Like it or not, Google is probably the biggest threat to individual privacy on the planet. Their entire business is based on learning everything they can about you and selling that information.

Your incessant FUD doesn't change that.
"I'm way over my head when it comes to technical issues like this"
Gatorguy 5/31/13
Reply
"I'm way over my head when it comes to technical issues like this"
Gatorguy 5/31/13
Reply
post #17 of 62

How quickly people forget that AI just posted an article on how much the government loves tracking stuff like this when they look at a phone:

 

 

ICE iPhone seizure shows extent of government's data retrieval abilities

(Sorry for the size.  That's how the link copied over.)

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by JupiterOne View Post

If all the tracking shows is that *an iPhone* has been to these places, I don't see the problem.

 

Being able to look on a phone and easily see the general areas a person has been, had all sorts of privacy and safety issues... although more from the non-government side, since this can be info that a regular user can access.

 

Imagine if a spouse abuser gets hold of his victim's phone and extracts the info... now they know the general area of the victim's safe house and can stalk them there.   Ditto for criminal or terrorist or spy groups who want to see if their newest "recruits" also visit Washington DC to meet with officials, etc.

 

Location services are great;  people just need to be aware of certain files and logging if their situation requires it.

post #18 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

 

Thanks for playing. Maybe you missed the word "alleged" earlier in the sentence. Happens to everyone, but probably not you, since your entire argument hinges on it not being there.

 

I saw it, but he used an absolute ("never"), so I quoted in absolute terms.

post #19 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post


OK, so you have an imagination and you can't read. Let's review.

You stated that I said it was bad when Google routinely tracks your information from cell towers.

What I actually said was that it was bad that Google tracks your location every time you use Google Maps - wihch uses GPS information.

See the difference?

Fair point.  I see the difference in your opinions of Google tracking via cell towers being ok vs. tracking by GPS in Maps being not ok.

post #20 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post


Their entire business is based on learning everything they can about you and selling that information keeping that information as closely guarded as possible so that they can profit from it long term, as there is no evidence to the contrary.

Fixed.

post #21 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post

Like it or not, Google is probably the biggest threat to individual privacy on the planet. Their entire business is based on learning everything they can about you and selling that information.

Your incessant FUD doesn't change that.

Back to your old standbys: Make it personal and attempt to change the subject. Carry on sir.

 

Still having trouble finding that proof of Google selling your personal information I see but don't let that stop you. On the anonymous net you can claim anything you want whether it's true or not.

melior diabolus quem scies
Reply
melior diabolus quem scies
Reply
post #22 of 62

Ugh...why does everyone on this thread have to quote jragosta? I'm more than happy to have his comments hidden as I blocked him long ago. Trying to follow along with his illogical rants is enough to drive someone crazy.

post #23 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by e_veritas View Post

Ugh...why does everyone on this thread have to quote jragosta? I'm more than happy to have his comments hidden as I blocked him long ago. Trying to follow along with his illogical rants is enough to drive someone crazy.

You apparently think that ignoring inconvenient facts makes them go away. Ask this guy how that works out for him:

"I'm way over my head when it comes to technical issues like this"
Gatorguy 5/31/13
Reply
"I'm way over my head when it comes to technical issues like this"
Gatorguy 5/31/13
Reply
post #24 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post


You apparently think that ignoring inconvenient facts makes them go away. Ask this guy how that works out for him
 

 

I love how liberally you throw around the word 'fact'. Trust me, if there is one word that can sum up your posts, it is most definitely not 'factual'.

post #25 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by KDarling View Post

Being able to look on a phone and easily see the general areas a person has been, had all sorts of privacy and safety issues... although more from the non-government side, since this can be info that a regular user can access.

Imagine if a spouse abuser gets hold of his victim's phone and extracts the info... now they know the general area of the victim's safe house and can stalk them there.   Ditto for criminal or terrorist or spy groups who want to see if their newest "recruits" also visit Washington DC to meet with officials, etc.

Location services are great;  people just need to be aware of certain files and logging if their situation requires it.

To within a 50+ square mile area.
post #26 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by e_veritas View Post

 

I love how liberally you throw around the word 'fact'. Trust me, if there is one word that can sum up your posts, it is most definitely not 'factual'.

How did you see his comment if you have him blocked?

post #27 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post

Their entire business is based on learning everything they can about you

 

 

As many have stated they DONT sell the personal information. It is closely guarded. That is how they make money.
 
As for the part about "learning everything you can about you"
So does every other business in the world it is call Analytics and Marketing.
 
 
You are delusional if you don’t think Apple wants to know every single thing about you to sell you more products.
 
Absolutely nothing you have said about Google selling your personal information to third parties is true. They guard their analytics and data. That is their product. They want to keep it out of the hands of their competitors (organic search algorithms are the same way, it is a closely guard secret) Why would they allow Bing, Yahoo, Apple, Facebook, Tribal fusion, advertise.com, magnetic.com, etc. get to their information and use it to sell their own service?
 
In fact in recent years Google has removed features in their Analytics product because it was giving away information about their search and cpc algorithms. They want to keep that information secret so they can sell us more quality advertising that will reach people that are potentially interested in our service or product. 
 
Online advertising is what I do. I work for an org that has an extensive online advertising program ranging from CPC and network display to retargeting pixel display ads and affiliate programs. Never are we given ANY of their data. This INCLUDES "EVIL" GOOGLE. We buy a certain group/network/segment/target demo and the ad service will place our ad on their network of targeted websites or display it to people the ad service thinks might be interested. Otherwise the viewer will never click the ad and the ad service will never get paid.
post #28 of 62
Originally Posted by Proximityeffect View Post
How did you see his comment if you have him blocked?

 

I imagine block list comments show up for a user much like deleted comments show up for us. They're just collapsed, and a click will bring them back up.

Originally Posted by asdasd

This is Appleinsider. It's all there for you but we can't do it for you.
Reply

Originally Posted by asdasd

This is Appleinsider. It's all there for you but we can't do it for you.
Reply
post #29 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by malta View Post


As many have stated they DONT sell the personal information. It is closely guarded. That is how they make money.

Right. So they make money by doing nothing with your data. In fact, they probably delete it as soon as they get it because they never use your personal information. /s

How the flipping heck do you think Google makes billions of dollars? By selling your information.
"I'm way over my head when it comes to technical issues like this"
Gatorguy 5/31/13
Reply
"I'm way over my head when it comes to technical issues like this"
Gatorguy 5/31/13
Reply
post #30 of 62

Pull faster JR. You've got a long ways to go with those goalposts. The truth is out there somewhere and if you keep moving you're bound to stumble on it in spite of yourself.

melior diabolus quem scies
Reply
melior diabolus quem scies
Reply
post #31 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by Steven N. View Post

To within a 50+ square mile area.

 

That's how far away it'll cache a tower, yes.  However, go to the top of this thread, and look at an actual map to see how much tighter the info turns out to be.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post

Right. So they make money by doing nothing with your data. In fact, they probably delete it as soon as they get it because they never use your personal information. /s

How the flipping heck do you think Google makes billions of dollars? By selling your information.

 

Google sells anonymous ad placements... just like Apple does with iAds.

 

Google also no doubt sells aggregated information about the percentage of people who like this, that, or the other thing.  Again, anonymous info.

post #32 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post


Right. So they make money by doing nothing with your data. In fact, they probably delete it as soon as they get it because they never use your personal information. /s

How the flipping heck do you think Google makes billions of dollars? By selling your information.

 

 

You need help?

 

Google, Yahoo, Bing, Apple, Facebook, etc. do not sell your ACTUAL personal information. It stays all in house. That information is never given to anyone. None of the advertisers see the data. The clients of these ad services buy or target segments or demographics of the ad services network. People that like and search for things such as Red Shoes, Sports Cars, or iPad. I cannot purchase Ads to be shown to only jragosta, because right now if I could I would flood your internet with the most obscene ads I could find. That would be money well spent.

 

Google is selling a demographic or target segment of their network. They make their billions on the advanced algorithm used to find those they know will be interested in a product or service.

 

If I am selling widgets, I want my ads to be shown to people that like and will potentially buy widgets. People that only like flanges are not as valuable to me. Though I might buy that targeted segment and use ads that are designed to try and convert them to widgets. It is much cheaper and a better ROI to keep customers than to gain new customers. Marketing 101

post #33 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post


That's because you're delusional and a paid Google shill.

 

And we come full circle with the ad hominem attack. Oh jragosta, you are so predictable...

post #34 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by malta View Post


You need help?

Google, Yahoo, Bing, Apple, Facebook, etc. do not sell your ACTUAL personal information. It stays all in house. That information is never given to anyone. None of the advertisers see the data.

I get it. So if I steal your car, it's perfectly OK as long as I sell it along with a bunch of other stolen cars and don't tell anyone which one is yours.

Got it.
"I'm way over my head when it comes to technical issues like this"
Gatorguy 5/31/13
Reply
"I'm way over my head when it comes to technical issues like this"
Gatorguy 5/31/13
Reply
post #35 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by malta View Post


You need help?

Google, Yahoo, Bing, Apple, Facebook, etc. do not sell your ACTUAL personal information. It stays all in house. That information is never given to anyone. None of the advertisers see the data.

I get it. So if I steal your car, it's perfectly OK as long as I sell it along with a bunch of other stolen cars and don't tell anyone which one is yours.

Got it.

 

I'm not sure that's a good analogy. It's more like they have a photo of your car, that you gave them, and they sell that with a bunch of other car photos without identifying which is yours.

post #36 of 62

Not being able to prove it does'nt not mean that harm has not been done.

 

It just that proof can not be reliably presented in the court of law.

 

At the end of the day, more information than necessary is in the hand of those who did not get permission.

"Like I said before, share price will dip into the $400."  - 11/21/12 by Galbi

Reply

"Like I said before, share price will dip into the $400."  - 11/21/12 by Galbi

Reply
post #37 of 62

deleted


Edited by MacRulez - 7/21/13 at 4:27pm
post #38 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by muppetry View Post

I'm not sure that's a good analogy. It's more like they have a photo of your car, that you gave them, and they sell that with a bunch of other car photos without identifying which is yours.

 

Heck, the advertisers don't even see that much info.  In fact, they see nothing personal about us.

 

  • All they do is ask Google or Apple to target a certain demographic, and give them the ads.
  • When asked to supply an ad, Google or Apple checks to see what ads fit our demographic, and serves back one that seems appropriate.
  • The advertiser themselves HAS NO ANY IDEA WHO SEES THEIR ADS. All they get is a count.   A viewer would have to click on one, go to that advertiser's website, and then enter their personal info on purpose, for the advertiser to get such info.

 

So a better analogy would be that the advertisers give a stack of prepaid car photo postcards, with their name on the back, to Google/Apple, and ask them to hand out the right photo to people who might be most interested in each model.  After that, it's up to the viewer to take action and contact the advertiser.


Edited by KDarling - 3/1/13 at 2:08pm
post #39 of 62
Originally Posted by MacRulez View Post
Citation needed.

 

I'll agree with that. If there's reasonable reason to suspect we'd look into it, but if there's no proof it shouldn't be said.

Originally Posted by asdasd

This is Appleinsider. It's all there for you but we can't do it for you.
Reply

Originally Posted by asdasd

This is Appleinsider. It's all there for you but we can't do it for you.
Reply
post #40 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post


I get it. So if I steal your car, it's perfectly OK as long as I sell it along with a bunch of other stolen cars and don't tell anyone which one is yours.

Got it.

 

This is a bad analogy. In fact the concept of ad services selling online advertising is not that difficult that it requires a dumb down analogy to help explain it. If you are not able to understand the process without your bad car analogy, then you probably should not be making false blanket statements about the subject.

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: iPhone
AppleInsider › Forums › Mobile › iPhone › Apple says iPhone tracking lawsuit doesn't demonstrate harm