Apple Inc.

Posts tagged “Apple Inc.”

U.S. lawmakers: extend privacy codes to app makers

“Mobile privacy safeguards should also extend to third-party application developers, two lawmakers said after reviewing the practices of four major U.S. wireless carriers.

Representatives Edward Markey and Joe Barton, co-chairs of the House Bi-Partisan Privacy Caucus, released on Thursday letters they received from Verizon Wireless, AT&T Inc., Sprint Nextel Corp and T-Mobile in response to their inquiries last month about the collection, use and storage of location data.

The letters showed the wireless carriers generally asked customers before accessing their location data. But developers of popular mobile phone applications were less than forthcoming about their tracking.”

From The Globe and Mail

Apple to Testify Before Congress on Smartphone Privacy

“Franken has requested that both Apple and Google send representatives to testify at the May 10 hearing of the Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Privacy, Technology and the Law. The subcommittee was created when the new Congress convened in January. This hearing, on “Protecting Mobile Privacy: Your Smartphones, Tablets, Cell Phones and Your Privacy,” will be the subcommittee’s first ever.

The Judiciary Committee hasn’t heard from Google about whether it will send anyone to testify. Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), who chairs the full committee, sent a letter to Jobs and Google CEO Larry Page Wednesday urging them to seriously consider Franken’s request.”

From The Atlantic

Windows phones send user location to Microsoft

“Add Microsoft Windows Phone 7 to the list of mobile operating systems that silently transmit the precise physical location of the device back to a central database.

CNET reported the location tracking on Monday, almost a week after reports of similar tracking in Apple’s iPhone and Google’s Android mobile OS raised concerns that smartphones could be used by police, civil litigants, or abusive spouses to track an owner’s movements over extended periods of time.

When location services for Windows phones are switched on, the devices transmit a unique ID along with nearby wireless networks, their signal strength, and GPS-extracted location to the company’s servers. However, Windows phones don’t store any of the locations on the device itself.”

From The Register

Apple denies iPhones store user location

“Apple Inc. denied Wednesday that iPhones store a record of their users’ movements for up to a year and blamed privacy concerns partly on a misunderstanding.

A data file publicized by security researchers last week doesn’t store users’ locations, but a list of Wi-Fi hotspots and cell towers in their general area, the company said. Apple said the data are stored for up to a year because of a software error. The company said there’s no need to store data for more than seven days, and a software update in the next few weeks will limit the amount of data in that file.”

From The Globe and Mail

No, iPhone location tracking isn’t harmless and here’s why

“It didn’t take long for the blogosphere to respond to research presented on Wednesday 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.

On Thursday, a forensics expert who sells software to law enforcement agencies gave a first-hand account why scrutiny of the location-tracking database is crucial. Alex Levinson, a forensics expert specializing in mobile devices, blogged that “geolocational artifacts were one of the single most important forensic vectors found on” the devices. As a result, he wrote a proprietary program called Lantern that law enforcement agencies use to actively examine the contents of the iPhone location database.”

From The Register

Why Apple Tracks You Via iPhone: It’s Not Why You Think

“Wondering why your iPhone and 3G-enabled iPad are storing your general location in an easily accessible database on your PC? It’s simple. Apple uses this information to build a cell tower and Wi-Fi access point location database, and the company admitted as much last year.

The only troubling thing, however, is that Apple said in the letter that it encrypts your location data before sending it back to company servers. But the database on your computer is sitting there unencrypted in an easily discoverable location. This means the database is a potential target for malware or even law enforcement if the authorities should decide to seize and search your PC. Apple will need to do a better job of protecting this data in future iOS updates now that its existence has been well publicized.”

From PC World