Music Industry

Is Apple sharing iTunes data with third parties? Uh, isn’t that contrary to their privacy stance?

Apple has always made a big deal about respecting its customers’ privacy, even going to far as to deny law enforcement authorities the ability to break iPhone security measures. So what’s this about the company selling iTunes data to third parties?

A lawsuit has been filed in the US by three users, alleging that Apple has broken privacy and data protection laws by selling data on what’s being purchased from iTunes.

In other words, if you downloaded that Creed album, that dirty little secret may have been sold to someone.

As reported by,

“The legal claim alleges that Apple sells, rents and transmits to third parties information about iTunes customers and the purchases they have made. This, the plaintiffs argue, conflicts with the tech giant’s marketing communications around data privacy, which included a billboard in Las Vegas featuring the slogan ‘what happens on your iPhone stays on your iPhone.'”

From the lawsuit:

“The data Apple discloses includes the full names and home addresses of its customers, together with the genres and, in some cases, the specific titles of digitally-recorded music that its customers have purchased via the iTunes Store and then stored in their devices”.

“Apple profits handsomely from its unauthorized sale, rental [and] transmission” [of this data]. It does so at the expense of its customers’ privacy and statutory rights because Apple does not notify let alone obtain the requisite written consent from its customers prior to disclosing their personal information.”

A big deal? Money-wise, probably not. Legal specialists say the plaintiffs could win damages of $250 to $5,000. PR-wise, though, this would be an Apple nightmare.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

Alan Cross has 38051 posts and counting. See all posts by Alan Cross

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