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Apple and Google scolded by US politicians over mobile data

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Charles Arthur
London Guardian
May 11, 2011

Apple and Google were scolded by US politicians on Tuesday over their privacy policies relating to mobile phone use, as the fallout from the revelation that iPhones and Android devices collect data for location sensing continued.

“I believe that consumers have a fundamental right to know what data is being collected about them,” said the Democratic senator Al Franken from Minnesota at a hearing of the new senate judiciary subcommittee on privacy, technology and the law. “I also believe that they have a right to decide whether they want to share that information, and with whom they want to share it and when.”

Franken, chairman of the subcommittee, added: “I have serious doubts about whether those rights are being respected in law or in practice.”

The Apple software chief, Guy “Bud” Tribble, said the company is committed to user privacy. “Apple does not track users’ locations,” he said. “Apple has never done so and has no plans to ever do so.” But he added that the company’s privacy policy says that Apple “may collect, use and share precise location data.” Tribble wouldn’t answer questions after the hearing about the apparent discrepancy.

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This article was posted: Wednesday, May 11, 2011 at 3:15 am

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