Apple and Google have been recently scrutinized for secretly recording people’s location. This has raised peoples concerns over their privacy and today Senator Al Franken has called up both Apple and Google to attend a hearing with the Judiciary Subcommittee on Privacy, Technology and the Law so that consumer privacy can be discussed.
Witnesses such as the Federal Trade Commission, Center for Democracy and Technology and US Department of Justice among others will talk in depth about the consumer’s privacy in regards to mobile technology.
It isn’t all too surprising to see this happened after many people were outraged after two researchers found that Apple were storing peoples locations. This later caused concern over if any other companies were doing something similar, which later found Google were with their Android operating system.
Apple had been bombarded by numerous news sources to justify why they were doing it and similarly goes for Google when they were caught. Now it seems politicians are asking why, as Franken himself sent Apple a letter demanding to know why they are collecting the data but also if users can disable the phone from logging your location. Franken wasn’t the only politician to question the actions by both companies as Representative Ed Markey later followed in Franken’s footstep and also started to ask questions.
In a statement Franken said “Recent advances in mobile technology have allowed Americans to stay connected like never before and put an astonishing number of resources at our fingertips, but the same technology that has given us smartphones, tablets, and cell phones has also allowed these devices to gather extremely sensitive information about users, including detailed records of their daily movements and location. ” He progressed to say “This hearing is the first step in making certain that federal laws protecting consumers’ privacy—particularly when it comes to mobile devices—keep pace with advances in technology."
Both companies have not publicly responded to the Franken’s as of yet although it’s in both their interests to do so unless they want the DoJ, FTC, CDT among others to make plans for any possible legislation without them.