Massachusetts lawsuit accuses Apple of misusing customers' personal info

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Comments

  • Reply 61 of 88
    MacProMacPro Posts: 19,492member
    gatorguy wrote: »
    I'm not telling you anything other than Google places ads for companies based on your interests and I'm not aware of any instances of Google selling information on users to them instead. You're the one claiming they definitely do yet still haven't offered proof of it. I don't expect you ever to do so either, but maybe I'll be surprised.

    As far as doing a search and within minutes getting emails on just that subject it's never happened to me but perhaps you have a bigger target on your back. and get more personal attention. If it happened here at AI any of these other not-Google companies might be the culprit as they and other of their brethren are all following you as you probably know. Easier to just lump all online and email ads under "Google did it" I know, but some like to see the details anyway.

    AppNexus
    Atlas
    Beanstock Media
    Criteo
    Facebook Connect
    Facebook Exchange (FBX)
    Media Innovation Group
    Media Optimizer (Adobe)
    New Relic
    OpenX
    Quantcast
    Right Media
    Rocket Fuel
    Rubicon
    ScoreCard Research Beacon
    VigLink

    EDIT: Rechecking just now there were 36 trackers in use here. Geesh.

    If those aren't enough there's another 1500+ not-Google trackers that just Ghostery knows about. Google may be the one everyone talks about, but they're far from the only ad placement company and have nothing to do with data brokering AFAIK unlike many of them.

    Gosh, I don't see Apple in that list. Kind of my point.

    And again ... Why are you on this blog?
  • Reply 62 of 88
    gilly33gilly33 Posts: 396member
    This sounds like a load of crap. Losers.
  • Reply 63 of 88
    Someone should lookup Massachusetts' Adam Christensen, Jeffrey Scolnick, and William Farrell's address (with zip code) and then sign them up on every junk mail list they can find. ;-)
  • Reply 64 of 88
    I have to enter my zip code every-single-time I buy gas with a credit card. But then I live in California, so what I do I know.
  • Reply 65 of 88
    I have to enter my zip code, on every Amex transaction at the gas pumps. That guy suing Amex and the oil companies too?
  • Reply 66 of 88
    If privacy is one's concern - Use Cash!
    or--- Remove name from Credit Card - Don't use your sell phone because you can be tracked - Don't call any business by phone and certainly don't provide them with your address and ZIP code when you order something by phone. Here's a big one - NeVer- EvEr use a supermarket discount card - they know more about you than you - where you live, what you eat, your favorite foods and the exact time you bought a bottle of wine when you were possibly..... Stay off Facebook.

    Live in a gave
  • Reply 67 of 88
    technotechno Posts: 735member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by jkichline View Post



    First, many credit processing systems require a ZIP code to verify the credit card's authenticity. This is quite a common practice especially with the level of hacking we've seen lately with Target, etc.



    Second, there's no correlation between what a legal document claims to allow and what was actually done. What's put in privacy policies is intentionally broad and usually applies only to the transaction method employed. For instance, a privacy policy on a website doesn't necessarily mean that's the same privacy policy used in a store. Who said they sold it to another party? Perhaps the ZIP code was just used to process the credit card transaction.



    Third, if you're that dang paranoid, how about you use cash and wear an aluminum foil hat? Or as Sir Jonny Ive says "Aluminium Fedora"

     

    Exactly! 

     

    We all know this is a just a cash grab.

  • Reply 68 of 88
    charlitunacharlituna Posts: 7,217member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by konqerror View Post

     

     

    He's right and you're admitting to a violation of state law with a penalty of $100 or damages. Read Wis. Stat. 423.401.

     

    You're obviously not a regular merchant because stores do get checked and fined because of violations like this. Price labeling and scan accuracy has been a big one of late.


     

    Except that you didn't real subsection 2. Which does legally allow for the recording of address, telephone etc in cases where authorization is not obtained prior to completing the purchase. 

     

    As the OP said 'sales table' it sounds like a flea market, farmers market kind of situation where transactions were done 'off line'. And in such cases, even for big stores, it is totally legit. So even a Apple store that is having some kind of internet outage would be in the clear for getting such info during that period

  • Reply 69 of 88
    charlitunacharlituna Posts: 7,217member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post



    In this case apparently Apple employees were still asking for a zip even with the card in hand? Doesn't mean they were doing anything particularly wrong but it is pretty unusual when you and the card are both present.

     

    You and the card doesn't equal you are the owner of the card. Outside of the obvious situation where the card is in the name of Mary Guy and Gator is, well a guy, it would be hard to reject the card. Particularly if it was signed since the merchant agreements often state that merchants can't ask for an id as a condition of taking the card. Only Amex as I recall actually allows you to ask for an ID and take the card, the others actually state that you are supposed to refuse the card or, after verifying the id of the person, have them sign it in front of you (although no one generally follows this rule and just looks at the ID). Asking for the billing zip is really the only way to verify the billing address at least partially. And it quite possibly considered an allowed question since few to no one lives in an area where they are the only person in the zip

  • Reply 70 of 88
    charlitunacharlituna Posts: 7,217member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by muppetry View Post

     

    The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court ruled back in March that it was a violation to require a zip code, then use a reverse phone book technique to figure out the customer's address, and then send direct advertising to that address. The court awarded no damages though. Similar judgements have occurred in a handful of other states. However, unless the plaintiffs can prove that Apple acted similarly - i.e. not only asked for a zip code but also figured out addresses from it to send direct advertising, or sold the information to a third party who then did that, it's hard to see how this case will succeed.


     

    My guess is that they don't get that it is the whole action that is not allowed. You can ask for the zip but not go further. 

     

    Although Apple likely doesn't really have to go further given that they ask for phone and address for online orders and service transactions (well phone at least). They could probably compare credit cards or email address given to get a receipt and find it a lot easier than this method. 

     

    If there was anything amiss in what Apple does it's the opt in for communication. They should remove that all together from transaction systems since it is unlikely that the customer ever sees those screens as it is an internal system, workers likely don't waste time asking for confirmation and it is 'yes' by default. Something of that nature is likely why these folks believe Apple sold their info. That or they are using gmail etc and don't understand the notion of random generated usernames to build a spam database

  • Reply 71 of 88
    charlitunacharlituna Posts: 7,217member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by lilgto64 View Post



    "Forced" - so the Apple Store employee held a gun to their head? What can the store do if you say no? or make one up?

    If unwanted marketing materials were hazardous I'd have been dead several times over long ago.

     

     

    if the system is address verifying via the zip code you can't just make one up or the card will be declined

     

    but yes to your point about giving out emails without a though

  • Reply 72 of 88
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 23,399member
    charlituna wrote: »
    You and the card doesn't equal you are the owner of the card. Outside of the obvious situation where the card is in the name of Mary Guy and Gator is, well a guy, it would be hard to reject the card. Particularly if it was signed since the merchant agreements often state that merchants can't ask for an id as a condition of taking the card. Only Amex as I recall actually allows you to ask for an ID and take the card, the others actually state that you are supposed to refuse the card or, after verifying the id of the person, have them sign it in front of you (although no one generally follows this rule and just looks at the ID). Asking for the billing zip is really the only way to verify the billing address at least partially. And it quite possibly considered an allowed question since few to no one lives in an area where they are the only person in the zip

    Have you been asked for the billing zip on your Amex anywhere besides an unattended gas pump or an on-line transaction? I never have, and mine is used nearly every single day, sometimes several times a day, and $Thousands every month. It might be perfectly above board for salesperson to ask for a zip code, but doing so would be really unusual just as I said. :\

    In fact the only time my CC processor asks for a zip is when I key in a card # rather than swiping it. Oherwise if I were to ask for a zipcode it would be useless for verification purposes since the processor doesn't display it too me anyway. A salesperson keying in your zip matched to your name is almost certainly doing so for marketing purposes. I can't think of another reason right off. Useless for verification because it's neither requested nor displayed by the credit card processing company when the card is presented in person AFAIK.

    EDIT: California is another state that bans the practice.
    http://consumerist.com/2011/02/10/ca-supreme-court-stores-cant-ask-for-zip-code-when-you-pay-by-credit-card/

    "In a unanimous decision, the court said ZIP codes are “personal identification information,” which, per existing state law, businesses are forbidden from demanding.
    From the L.A. Times:
    The class-action lawsuit against Williams-Sonoma Stores Inc. was brought by a woman who contended that Williams-Sonoma asked her for her ZIP code when she purchased an item with her credit card. She said the store used her name and ZIP code to identify her address and then stored the information in a database for marketing. She also contended the store had the ability to sell her information to other businesses.
    Two lower courts rejected the suit, but the California Supreme Court said a ZIP code was part of a person’s address and therefore covered by the state’s Credit Card Act.
  • Reply 73 of 88
    charlitunacharlituna Posts: 7,217member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Kibitzer View Post



    Remember back in 2010, when three enterprising California lawyers filed a class action against Apple, claiming that they were duped by advertising when their iPads shut down after being used in hot sunlight? A few months later a judge tossed that one.


     


    Apple had given out info about usage temp ranges, thus the toss


     


    These suits are in the same frivolous class as the "sue McDonald's because the coffee's too hot."

     

    Actually that suit was not frivolous at all. Folks like to harp on this notion that she sued because her clothes got wet. She sued because she was injured, due to that McDonalds making their coffee way above appropriate temperatures. And it turned out that it was policy at McDonalds, Starbucks and several other places. 

  • Reply 74 of 88
    charlitunacharlituna Posts: 7,217member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by cyclonus5150 View Post



    Apple asks for zip at the end of the transaction to help determine where to put new stores. Data is only shared with partners assisting in real estate strategy. Pointless lawsuit. Pointless article.

     

    No they don't. They did for a while but stopped that like 2-3 years ago. Probably in part due to the fact that they had way more online transactions to cull such info from so they didn't need the stores to get them anything. 

  • Reply 75 of 88
    charlitunacharlituna Posts: 7,217member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by TBell View Post



    I have never received mail from third parties that was likely tied to an Apple purchase. 

     

     

    More like, if you have, you can't prove it was from Apple and not a magazine subscription etc. One of the reasons that I have gone digital magazine as much as possible is because I can prove they were selling my address. How? Because I will intentionally mess up my name just so i can track when I get junk mail. Each new magazine I might double up a letter, leave out a letter, whatever. I keep a list on them. Every new mag at least one piece of junk mail has turned up. 

     

    By the same token I don't use my real name on my Apple ID. I did the same sort of screw ups. didn't come back on me because I don't have a credit card on file (gift cards only). In 10 years I've never had a credit card offer, car insurance blah blah come to that name. 

     

    Most folks don't do that kind of curiosity research so their name, email, address is all over the place. So who knows if that junk mail was from Apple or from your subscription to Tits magazine

  • Reply 76 of 88
    charlitunacharlituna Posts: 7,217member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by muppetry View Post

     

     

    Does it actually work like that? Can one make a random accusation of data misuse without any evidence, and then require the defendant to prove, via a discovery process, that they did not misuse the data?


     

    Yes and no. Apple's lawyers will have to at least file a motion to dismiss. They will likely cite a lack of evidence they sold anything, combined with legal statutes and credit card contracts that give them permission to ask for zip codes for address verification. They will probably pull out some kind of evidence that the zip codes are passed to the credit servers and not recorded on the transaction journal to seal it. 

     

    The lawyers for the other side will be given a chance to call BS, won't be able to prove their case and it will probably be dismissed within a week of when the first hearing happens. A month tops. 

  • Reply 77 of 88
    charlitunacharlituna Posts: 7,217member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post





    I've been asked my zip code and phone number at Best Buy before when I used cash, but I loudly yelled at the cashier that I was not under any obligation to provide any personal information for a cash purchase. They quit asking.

     

    That is a time when I would agree it is uncalled for. Especially the phone number. If they insisted I would demand to speak to a manager to explain why I am no longer shopping with Best Buy. 

  • Reply 78 of 88
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 23,399member
    charlituna wrote: »
    More like, if you have, you can't prove it was from Apple and not a magazine subscription etc. One of the reasons that I have gone digital magazine as much as possible is because I can prove they were selling my address. How? Because I will intentionally mess up my name just so i can track when I get junk mail. Each new magazine I might double up a letter, leave out a letter, whatever. I keep a list on them. Every new mag at least one piece of junk mail has turned up.

    LOL, I've done exactly the same thing to help figure out who shared my contact info and with who.
  • Reply 79 of 88
    charlitunacharlituna Posts: 7,217member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by iaeen View Post



    Why would anyone buy zip codes from Apple?

    If they wanted to send advertisements through mail, all they have to do is go here:

    https://www.usps.com/business/send-mail-for-business.htm?

     

    Cheaper to send fewer, more fine tuned, mailers than blanket everyone. Someone might be wanting to appeal to the type of folks that would buy from Apple. Although with everyone buying iPhones etc these days, that 'exclusive, upper crust' notion is far gone. Maybe back in the day when it was just the 'overpriced' computers. 

  • Reply 80 of 88
    charlitunacharlituna Posts: 7,217member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post





    LOL, I've done exactly the same thing to help figure out who shared my contact info and with who.

     

    probably not a shock that tabloid mags are the biggest offenders. TV guide and sports illustrated follow close behind from what I can tell. 

     

    My last move I cancelled everything and went emag for what I really had to have. Or just read it at the library across the street. 

     

    Now if I could just get rid of the excess store flyers. I don't mind getting from the two shops I go to. Or Bed Bath and Beyond cause of the coupons. But the rest can hang

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