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onehandle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 08:54 PM
Original message
Apple, Google summoned to Senate hearing on mobile device privacy
Source: ARS Technica

Senator Al Franken (D-MN) has called upon Apple and Google to participate in a hearing with the Judiciary Subcommittee on Privacy, Technology and the Law in order to discuss consumer privacy. The hearing will take place on May 10 at 10am EDT in Washington, where witnesses from the US Department of Justice, Federal Trade Commission, Center for Democracy and Technology, and others will talk about what the latest mobile technology means for privacy and the law.

Recent advances in mobile technology have allowed Americans to stay connected like never before and put an astonishing number of resources at our fingertips, Franken said in a statement. But the same technology that has given us smartphones, tablets, and cell phones has also allowed these devices to gather extremely sensitive information about users, including detailed records of their daily movements and location. This hearing is the first step in making certain that federal laws protecting consumers privacyparticularly when it comes to mobile deviceskeep pace with advances in technology."

Device privacy has been an increasingly important topic to lawmakers in recent years, but discussion came to a head last week when two researchers revealed that the iPhone and 3G iPad keep a log file of every location the user has ever been, whether the iOS Location Services are turned on or not. The discovery was neither new nor hidden (and it turns out Google also does some level of location logging as well), but the announcement sparked a deeper look into how technology companies track and store our personal data.

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Maine-ah Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 09:35 PM
Response to Original message
1. I love Franken.
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tomhayes Donating Member (476 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 09:51 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. I too love Franken BUT....
This is going to turn out to be a non issue if you understand what's happening and a HUGE issue if you don't.

And you BETETR BELIEVE that RIGHT NOW the police/FBI/Military can activate your phones' GPS, video camera and microphone without your permission or knowledge. And it's legal.

Apple might be storing a DB of cell tower and wi-fi locations on the phone and NOT using it for any other purposes - but I don't think they're tracking you. Google- I trust them less.

As long as the hearings are to find out the truth and not just to berate phone manufacturers (unless they deserve it) I'm fine with it.
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elias49 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 10:10 PM
Response to Reply #2
3. I have no idea what your point is.
My best guess is that it doesn't matter to you at all that we ARE having hearings!
Just as well not have them. Meh.
And your lead sentence is one of the greatest non sequitors I've read in...well, I don't know how long!

And as for Al Franken, I guess you're trying to say you like the guy BUT...

Maybe I'm just tired. Don't take offense.
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tomhayes Donating Member (476 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 10:39 PM
Response to Reply #3
4. I like Franken (I contributed to his campaign) but this will turn out to be a non-issue
I'd rather Franken spend time on social justice issues, or health care reform , or education, or a million other issues.

Here's a fact: If you have a cell phone the cell phone carriers and the government can track you.

Apple is NOT tracking you at the moment - the phone may be storing a log of cell towers and wifi-spots in a database unused by any other device. Now if someone gets your phone they will be able to get that information and tell with a few miles of where you are at. (They'll also get all your email, all of your contact information, the GPS coordinates used in navigation and photo taking apps, your SMS messages, and possibly more.) The government can get the information from cell towers and triangulate your position down to a few yards.

This will turn out to be a non issue that might be made a political issue. I just hope he doesn't make it his fractional-reserve-banking-is-evil issue like Ron Paul.

I'd rather have Franken working on other issues instead of this. Saving medicare as it exists right now would be time better spent, IMHO.

(And I'm not suggestion that privacy rights in the electronic age are unimportant . But THIS PARTICULAR ISSUE seems overblown to me.)
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Javaman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-26-11 08:10 AM
Response to Original message
5. All so amusing...
Edited on Tue Apr-26-11 08:11 AM by Javaman
AT&T worked with the state dept during morons* reign of terror to tap phone lines yet, where are they?

apple and google are just the easy targets.

Don't get me wrong, I love Al, but given the history of phone and wire tapping and violations of our 4th amendment, why the fuck are they going after apple that has a tracking file that doesn't even have an app that actually does something with the information?

smoke and mirrors.
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