While 5,000 Google and Android fans converge on the Moscone Center in San Francisco this week representatives from both Google and Apple will converge on Washington DC, and Congress, to testify at a hearing on privacy. Al Franken, the author/talk show host turned Senator, is now the Chairman of the Judiciary Subcommittee on Privacy, Technology and The Law. Franken organized a hearing on privacy, which is the first hearing for this new subcommittee.
Alan Davidson, Google’s director of public policy for the Americas and Bud Tribble, Apple’s Vice President of Software, will testify on Tuesday before Franken’s subcommittee.
More after the break
Privacy, especially as it pertains to data collected on smartphones, will be the focus of these hearings. Previously it was believed that only law enforcement, with a proper warrant, could access a users private data. A few weeks ago it was revealed that iPhones and 3G enabled iPads were storing customer information and geo-tracking information. Almost immediately following this revelation about Apple, Google and the Android platform came under fire for the same thing.
Apple was quick to respond by sending out an update to it’s iOS product users which eliminated the storing of this data. Google on the other hand responded to a class action lawsuit on the matter, by saying their tracking information was “opt-in” only.
As we were quick to point out in an op-ed on April 30th, it’s pretty obvious that a device capable of providing GPS data and interacting with Geo-Location based apps, also kept track of the data used to make these apps work and serve up opt-in relevant information.
Lawmakers, headed by Franken, will now determine if Google and Apple need to do more to protect their customers.
Source: Financial Post