US lawmakers ask Apple about tracking feature
Friday 22 April 2011
US lawmakers are seeking an explanation from Apple following claims that iPhones and iPads constantly log the location of the devices and store the information in a hidden file.
Senator Al Franken, a Democrat from Minnesota, sent a letter to Apple chief executive Steve Jobs on Wednesday, while Democratic Representative Edward Markey of Massachusetts sent Jobs a letter on Thursday.
The letters came after a pair of British security researchers, Alasdair Allan and Pete Warden, said the position-logging feature is contained in iOS 4, the operating system for the iPhone and iPad released in June.
Meanwhile, The Wall Street Journal reported that Google's Android smartphones also regularly transmit their locations back to Google.
Google and Apple are storing location information to help them tap the $2.9 billion market for location-based services, according to the paper.
In a statement, Markey said Apple "needs to safeguard the personal location information of its users to ensure that an iPhone doesn't become an iTrack.
"Collecting, storing and disclosing a consumer's location for commercial purposes without their express permission is unacceptable and would violate current law," he said.
In his letter to Apple, Markey asked whether the researchers' report was accurate and, if so, how the company was using the information being collected.
Markey asked for a response within 15 business days.
According to Allan and Warden, iOS 4-equipped iPhones and iPads store latitude and longitude coordinates along with a time stamp, probably through cell-tower triangulation.
They noted that cellphone companies typically have access to this data but it is not usually stored on a mobile device itself.
The Journal cited research firm Gartner Inc., which said the location-information market is expected to rise to $8.3 billion in 2014.
filmFilm producers sue Warner Bros for $75m over Hobbit films
sportNapoli 2 Arsenal 0: Gunners must now face either Real Madrid, PSG, Bayern Munich, Atletico Madrid or Barcelona in knock-out stages
Swedish stars ask fans for £195 pledges on crowd-funding website
voicesJust when you thought you could find a man, get married, and have a baby by the age of 35... it turns out you’re too late, says Grace Dent
musicAs Mariah Carey and Noddy Holder rake in the royalties from their classics, why there hasn't been a decent festive hit for 20 years?
theatreAuthor Daniel Rosenthal recalls the mishaps that almost brought the curtain down on the likes of John Gielgud and Diana Rigg
lifeAs the Royal Mail plans to phase out deliveries on two wheels, it's no wonder posties are in a spin
musicThe 21-year-old beat Ella Eyre and Chlöe Howl to win the honour
lifeFull of the joys and want to help your fellow man? December isn't the time to do it
techLuke Blackall reports on precision engineered prams and babygros that monitor your child 24-7
Life & Style blogs
YouTube: Top trending videos of 2013 - including Tom Daley and Peppa Pig
Chinese scientists 'increasingly confident' about invisibility cloak after making a cat disappear
GTA 5 update: Content Creator released, online heists and story mode updates coming soon
The rise of goo-goo gadgets: Hey baby, nice wheels!
Pirate Bay sets sail for Ascension Island after SX domain name seized by authorities
- 1 Nelson Mandela memorial: ‘Bogus’ interpreter made mockery of Barack Obama’s tribute in Soweto
- 2 French café starts charging extra to rude customers
- 3 Sun will 'flip upside down' within weeks, says Nasa
- 4 Is Facebook making us forget? Study shows that taking pictures ruin memories
- 5 Australia incest case: Severely deformed children found in remote farming community after generations of inbreeding
iJobs Gadgets & Tech
£35000 - £38000 per annum + Benefits: Harrington Starr: C# .NET Developer (Win...
£60000 - £70000 per annum + Benefits: Harrington Starr: Senior QA Engineer Tes...
£45000 - £60000 per annum + benefits+bonus+package: Harrington Starr: C# .NET ...
£25000 - £35000 per annum + benefits+bonus+package: Harrington Starr: PHP Deve...