$5 billion class action over sale of Apple Music data tossed out of the window

Apple Music

In a judgment Monday at the Northern Court of California, U.S. District Court Judge William Alsup  dismissed a $5 billion class action complaint over alleged sale of Apple Music data.

Complainants Leigh Wheaton, Jill Paul and Trevor Paul charge Apple in their complaint with breaking Rhode Island and Michigan law for selling, renting, transmitting or disclosing a customer’s information without consent. The Cupertino firm supposedly sold Apple Music and iTunes library and listening data to third parties, including data brokers and app developers.

From AppleInsider’s report:

The complaint notes iTunes incorporates a feature that tells users attempting to gift a song to another customer whether a recipient already owns a given track. The feature reveals a recipient’s name and listening history, the complaint reads.

The complaint notes that plaintiffs experienced unwarranted junk mail and telephone solicitations because of Apple’s actions, which also put them at risk of identity theft. According to court documents, Judge William Alsup argued in October that a mail icon presented in the filing doesn’t actually disclose the names and addresses of iTunes customers.

Yet, 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.

On allegations Apple violated user rights by letting developers access to metadata, tokens and gifted songs, Alsup found plaintiffs provided no evidence to substantially support their claims. “Importantly, claimants needed to prove disclosed data connects a user’s music selection to personally identifying information, a requirement that was not met by the information released through iTunes metadata,” reads the AppleInsider report.

Thanks to the fact that the case has been dismissed with prejudice, plaintiffs are now prohibited from bringing amended claims against Apple in a future action.