Apple hit with lawsuit for storing iCloud data on third-party servers

Apple faces a class-action lawsuit filed in California which accuses the company of false advertising. The suit claims Apple told consumers iCloud data is “stored by Apple” when, in fact, the information is in some cases stored on servers run by Amazon, Google, and Microsoft.

Mikey Campbell for AppleInsider:

According to the suit, Apple breached customer trust and legally binding contracts by using its status and name to sell iCloud subscriptions to customers believing their data would be stored in a cloud that it owned and operated. Instead of first-party servers, the company farmed out bandwidth to Amazon Web Services, Google and Microsoft’s Azure platform…

Plaintiffs allege Apple makes no mention of third-party servers in its marketing materials or its iCloud terms and conditions. Indeed, the preamble to iCloud’s customer agreement suggests all data flows directly from user devices to Apple itself. “When iCloud is enabled, your content will be automatically sent to and stored by Apple, so you can later access that content or have content wirelessly pushed to your other iCloud-enabled devices or computers,” the document reads.

MacDailyNews Note: Apple’s support document “iOS Security: iOS 12.3,” May 2019 states:

iCloud stores a user’s contacts, calendars, photos, documents, and more, and keeps the information up to date across all of their devices, automatically… Each file is broken into chunks and encrypted by iCloud using AES-128 and a key derived from each chunk’s contents that utilizes SHA-256. The keys and the file’s metadata are stored by Apple in the user’s iCloud account. 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.

14 Comments

  1. That’s literally the definition of the “cloud”. It’s a physically abstracted computing system!

    What’s next? “Whole Foods sued for not growing the peaches they sold customers!” Your honor, the store never made mention of the third-party farms used to grow the food they sold me!

    1. So if Google or Amazon have hardware problems, you can lose your iCloud data….
      Apple needs to advertise this fact and not hide it inside seldom read support documentation.
      Most people mistakenly believe Apple has its own separate cloud

        1. If this is so, then why does anyone here consider Apple superior in any way? When it comes to online services, Apple is and it appears will always be a laggard. Same with mapping. Same with voice recognition. Same with wireless networking. If Apple today is primarily just rebranding the stuff they bought or partnered, then they are no better than the balkanized mess Microsoft has always been. Probably worse, since Apple has so much money that ineptitude cannot be detected at any level, even when we identify it to Apple directly.

          1. Please Mike! Abandon this forum since you offer nothing but gripes and naysaying about Apple. And, —— move to the MicroShaft forum!! There, your road map is right in front of you. And now we can get back to constructive comments instead of naught but whining. Thank you.

            1. Stewpid citizen whines again. Read the phuckin First Amendment, Trump Troll. Mike has contributed 1000% more facts here than you ever could.

    1. trondude,
      I bet 99% of users never read the first sentence of the EULA. “Apple is the provider of the Service, which permits you to utilize certain Internet services, including storing your personal content (such as contacts, calendars, photos, notes, reminders, documents, app data, and iCloud email) and making it accessible on your compatible devices and computers, and certain location based services, only under the terms and conditions set forth in this Agreement.” I bet even fewer read the first sentence of the the first section (1. A.) “The Service is only available to individuals aged 13 years or older (or equivalent minimum age in the relevant jurisdiction), unless you are under 13 years old and your Apple ID was provided to you as a result of a request by an approved educational institution or established as part of the Family Sharing feature by your parent or guardian.”
      The sad truth is probably that some lawyer read the EULA and was aware that Apple is Amazon’s largest AWS client. This lawyer then saw potential $$$ and found a client to bring a class action suit. Class action suits make lawyers rich not the members of the class.

  2. MDN quotes Apple’s support document dated May of this year. If that is evidence, the plaintiffs will simply ‘narrow’ the field to those iCloud users that signed up prior to the date of the document and after Apple started using 3rd party storage services.

    1. I think you are right but I hope that somebody will notice that there is no injury to the plaintiffs. No known data breach and encryption was not compromised. All of the mentioned services follow proper backup schedules and risk of data loss was no greater than if the servers where physically located in a data center owned by Apple.

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