• Apple and Google Agree to Testify the Phone Location Tracking Issues at the May 10 Senate Hearing about Consumer Privacy on Mobile Devices

    Posted on April 29th, 2011 David Brooks No comments

    The phone location tracking issue for Apple iPhone iPad and Google Android mobile phones has lasted for a period, and it would last longer than we think, especially at Apple’s privacy policy. Google responded to the phone location tracking at Monday while Apple replied this a week after the issue and denied its mobile devices are tracking and collecting data on users’ locations. Both companies have agreed to testify at a May 10 Senate hearing about consumer privacy on mobile devices.

    Apple iPhone Location Tracking

    Ever since the reports of location tracking issue of Apple and Android devices, the US Senate had weighed in. The Committee had written to Microsoft, Nokia, RIM and HP as well as Apple and Google, but only the latter two had been asked to attend the hearings and explain what data they are collecting, how they’re ensuring that data is secured, and how users opt out of being tracked.

    Google Inc. was sued by two Android phone users who said their phones secretly recorded and stored their movements. According to concern over data collection, a Google spokesman Chris Gaither said in an e-mail: “We provide users with notice and control over the collection, sharing and use of location. Any location data that is sent back to Google location servers is anonymized and is not tied or traceable to a specific user.

    However, Apple has denied collecting data from users. “Apple is not tracking the location of your iPhone,” the company said in a statement.Apple has never done so and has no plans to ever do so.” Apple insisted it “strongly” believes that personal privacy is important, but now, the personal privacy of Apple has been skeptical from lawmakers and users.

    The public debate of the mobile phone location tracking has been a long concern. Hope the May 10 hearing would provide a good result.

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  • Apple Location Tracking in iPhone and iPad Gains Great Concern

    Posted on April 22nd, 2011 David Brooks No comments

    On Wednesday, there were posts that detailed a file in Apple iPhones and iPads unknown to the vast majority of its users that stored a long list of their time-stamped locations, sometimes with alarming detail. This has raised great concern and a vast criticism from users. Besides, people also want to know whether other smart phones and tablets like Google Android OS phones and tablets have the same location tracking system as Apple. The lawmakers now have stepped into this issue for answers from Apple.

    Apple Location Tracking

    Much of the concern about the iPhone and iPad location tracking stems from the fact the computers are logging users’ physical coordinates without users knowing it — and that the information is then stored in an unencrypted form that would be easy for a hacker or a suspicious spouse or a law enforcement officer to find without a warrant. “We’re not sure why Apple is gathering this data, but it’s clearly intentional, as the database is being restored across backups, and even device migrations,” from a blogger.

    Some have argued that the Apple iPhone and iPad location tracking system has brought benefit to people, rather than harm. The most obviously thing is that the iPhone and iPad location tracking has provided clues for police.

    Apple iPad

    Several members of Congress in Cupertino have written to Apple to answer questions about the issue. Rep. Edward Markey, D-Mass., questioned it may be illegal to use users’ personal location information for business purpose without noticing users. “Collecting, storing and disclosing a consumer’s location for commercial purposes without their express permission is unacceptable and would violate current law.”

    We have to admit that tracking is in fact normal for mobile phone. The conflict of this practice lies who owns the personal location information, what the owners have done and want to do with the users’ personal location information.

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