Apple Executive Tells US Senate that iOS 5 will Encrypt Location Tracking Cache
Heavyweights from Apple, Google, and other tech giants showed up on Capitol Hill today for some grilling before a panel of US lawmakers on the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Privacy, Technology, and the Law. Members of Congress are looking to probe potential privacy and security threats born of the location tracking attributes of some of today's most popular mobile operating systems, including Apple's iOS.
"I am sorry that not everyone was able to get into the room," Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., who chairs the new subcommittee, said upon the start of the hearing, where Apple vice president for software technology Bud Tribble testified. According to Tribble, not only did Apple begin the process of remedying its tracking "bug" by reducing the location tracking cache in iOS 4.3.3, but the company - as widely expected - will fully encrypt the cache with a subsequent update.
"Apple is deeply committed to protecting the privacy of our customers," said Tribble. "Apple does not track users' locations -- Apple has never done so and has no plans to do so." Tribble's reassuring comments came after a strong opening statement by Senator Franken, who clearly set the stage for what the hearing had hoped to accomplish.
"Consumers have a fundamental right to know what data is being collected about them," Franken said. "They have a right to decide whether they want to share that information, and with whom they want to share it and when. And yet reports suggest that the information on our mobile devices is not being protected in the way that it should be."
Alan Davidson, Google's director of public policy, wasn't spared from the third-degree either. In written testimony prepared ahead of today's hearing, Davidson said: "Google recognizes the particular privacy concerns that come with the collection and storage of location information. That's why we don't collect any location information -- any at all -- through our location services on Android devices unless the user specifically chooses to share this information with Google."
Source: Market Watch