Apple Accused of Lying About Using Third-Party Cloud Survices in New Lawsuit

George Herman
George Herman
IT Security Expert

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The big company is facing yet another class-action lawsuit. Apple consumers are accusing Apple for not disclosing their Cloud storage practices. And, according to them, the company is guilty of false advertising, breach of contract, and also violating California’s Unfair Competition Law.

The plaintiffs (Andrea M. Williams from Florida and James Stewart from California) claim that in Apple’s Terms of Service it states that When Cloud is enabled, your content will be automatically sent to and stored by Apple.

The suit states that:

The selection of a cloud storage provider is a significant and material consideration, as it involves entrusting all of a user’s stored data — including sensitive information like photographs, documents of all kinds, and e-mail content.” Therefore, the plaintiffs argue that users should be informed about who is “offering this storage and taking custody of their data.”

Even though Apple has acknowledged the use of these services in its iOS Security Guide, the Apple consumers point out the fact that this is not disclosed in the actual contract when signing up for iCloud, arguing that end users are unlikely to read a security guide, which is targeted primarily at tech professionals.

Apple says that all stored data on these services is completely encrypted:

“The encrypted chunks of the file are stored, without any user-identifying information or the keys, using both Apple and third-party storage services— such as Amazon Web Services or Google Cloud Platform—but these partners don’t have the keys to decrypt your data stored on their servers.”

The lawsuit says that while that may be true, it “does nothing to address other fundamental concerns about the integrity of the data”, suggesting that this lawsuit is also about keeping data safe from being lost or destroyed by the non-Apple storage providers.

What’s more, the case is also about the company’s engagement in unfair business practices, pointing at the ‘Apple premium‘ charge for iCloud services would not be as profitable for the company, if Apple were to fully disclose the use of third-party storage, rather than its own.

The plaintiffs are requesting a class action on behalf of all U.S. Apple customers, who paid for an iCloud subscription at any time from August 20th, 2015, till now.

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