US Lawmakers Take Aim at Apple over iPhone Location Tracking
If you've been hanging around MMi the last few days, you're probably familiar with the rampant talk surrounding the recently publicized discovery that Apple keeps close, secretive tabs on where you and your iPhone go. As my colleague Phillip Swanson dished yesterday
, security researchers have discovered the iPhone maintains a location log that includes longitudinal and latitudinal coordinates as well as a timestamp. Each time the iPhone is synced to the computer a new log file is created.
Well, now US lawmakers have gotten wind of this discovery. Fresh from their skirmish with Apple over in-app purchases and the phenomenon of children unwittingly purchasing a gazilion-dollars worth of stuff via mommy and daddy's iPhone, several high-profile US senators are calling attention to Apple's tracking bonanza (even though we agree to be tracked in the fine print of Apple's "terms and conditions" document).
On Thursday, Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) and Rep. Jay Inslee (D-Wash.) went public with their effort to force Apple to address this report immediately. Franken, in particular, drafted a letter to Mr. Steve Jobs himself. "There are numerous ways in which this information could be abused by criminals and bad actors," Franken stated in the letter. "Furthermore, there is no indication that this file is any different for underage iPhone or iPad users, meaning that the millions of children and teenagers who use iPhone or iPad devices also risk having their location collected and compromised."
Franken also dashed-off a litany of questions pushing Apple to answer why its collects the data in the first place and how it's ultimately used. Franken is even wondering if other Apple devices - like laptops - similarly acquire and report user location and usage information. It's a good question. And soon enough, Apple may respond with the answers we're all waiting for.
Source: C-Span, The Hill