A California judge this week dismissed a class-action lawsuit filed against Apple over claims it “sold and otherwise exposed” the listening data of Apple Music and iTunes users.
U.S. District Court Judge William Alsup found that the evidence presented by plaintiffs was inadequate. They are now blocked from bringing amended claims against Apple in the future.
The lawsuit, first filed back in May, accuses Apple of breaking Rhode Island and Michigan law by selling, renting, transmitting, or disclosing customer information without consent.
Plaintiffs Leigh Wheaton, Jill Paul, and Trevor Paul claim Apple sold personal listening information to third parties, including app developers and data brokers. They were suing for $5 billion.
Apple the winner in iTunes data lawsuit
The lawsuit accuses Apple of supplementing its revenues by disclosing the full names and addresses of its customers, the genres of music they’re interested, and even specific purchases.
It also claims Apple provides app-makers with access to user listening data, “tokens” associated with personal information, and reveals any songs they may have gifted.
The plaintiffs note that when gifting a track in iTunes, a buyer is able to see whether the recipient already owns the track — and view their recent listening history.
Apple filed a motion to dismiss the lawsuit, and a judge ruled in the company’s favor on October 25. However, that judge also gave plaintiffs the opportunity to file an amended claim.
The plaintiffs chose not to do that, so Judge Alsup’s more recent ruling is made with prejudice. That means the plaintiffs can no longer bring amended claims against Apple in the future.
Not enough evidence
Judge Alsup made the decision after finding insufficient evidence to support the plaintiffs’ claims. The lawsuit failed to include even a name for the data broker Apple supposedly worked with.
The plaintiffs argued evidence would be uncovered during discovery, but Apple stated the allegations were completely untrue. And that’s the end of that one.