Music Industry News

California Court Dismisses Apple Music Data Privacy Lawsuit

California Court Dismisses Apple Music Data Privacy Lawsuit

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The U.S. District Court for Northern California has dismissed a lawsuit against Apple Music filed by users who claimed that the company sold and exposed user data to third parties.

In May of this year, three Apple Music users — Leigh Wheaton, Jill Paul, and Trevor Paul — asserted that Apple’s music app utilized tokens that could be associated with personal information. The plaintiffs further asserted that Apple used this data whenever a user attempted to gift a song to another user.

Among the charges filed by the three included:

  • Overpayment
  • Loss of value of their personal listening information
  • Unwarranted junk mail
  • Telephone solicitations
  • Risk of identity theft

In October of this year, Apple responded to the lawsuit by filing a motion for dismissal.

U.S. District Court Judge William Alsup, who is the judge in the case, granted the motion. He said that, while a mail icon Apple used did in fact include the names and addresses of customers, “the mail icon does not explicitly disclose any names, addresses, or personally identifying information of customers. It is merely a picture of an envelope . . . the complaint fails to explain anything about clicking on the icon. Without more information, which was surely available to counsel, this order will not speculate that the mail icon explicitly would lead to Apple customers’ names and addresses.”

The judge further insisted that the icon was insufficient evidence, as it did not include any data broker names, and he found that the plaintiffs did not provide sufficient evidence that Apple had violated their user rights. He also said that they failed to demonstrate how the disclosed data could be connected with a user’s personal information or music selection.

However, the judge did give the plaintiffs in the suit until November 14 to amend their complaint. But the plaintiffs chose not to do so, which resulted in the judge issuing a final judgement in the case.

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