Mobile Privacy: US Panel to grill Apple & Google

Written by: Abdul Nisar
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San Francisco, May 10: Officials from Google and Apple will appear in front of a US senate panel today, (Tuesday May 10), to describe their position on alleged collection of user's location data through Android smartphones and iPhones.

The panel asked Android maker Google and iPhone maker Apple to appear for the congressional hearing in wake of the news report that some Apple iPhones and Google Android-running smartphones are collecting extensive location data.

"The hearing is the first step in making certain that federal laws protecting consumers" privacy keep pace with advances in technology, particularly when it comes to mobile devices such as smartphones, tablets and cell phones," said Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.), chairman of the Judiciary Subcommittee on Privacy, Technology and the Law.

Apple came up with a reply after few days saying that the company was not tracking the location data but "maintaining a database of WiFi hotspots and cell towers" around each device's location. Later, Apple rolled out an update to its iOS 4.3.3 version to fix this bug.

Just like the other industry experts, we are also having the opinion that the hearing won't change anything as many of the users click 'I Agree' button before using any service on iPhone or Android devices. But, Google and Apple may have to give more explanation to the Panel on how they collect and use location information.

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