Photo: U.S. Senate
Apple and Google appeared before a congressional panel today to explain their policies regarding location tracking in mobile devices.Apple continued its defensive. Guy Tribble, Apple’s vice president of software technology, said a glitch caused iPhones and iPads to store location data indefinitely.
Instead, the location cache was only supposed to last a week. Apple has already issued a fix to iPhone and iPad owners with an update to iOS, version 4.3.3. The update allows users to turn all location services off if they choose.
Tribble also explained that Apple only gathers information on the location of wifi hotspots and cell towers that iPhones and iPads access. All that data are completely anonymous, and Apple has no way to see who it came from.
For third-party apps sold in the app store, Tribble said Apple conducts random audits on developers to make sure they aren’t stealing user location data.
Both Apple and Google recognised the importance for mobile location data, including helping with emergencies like Amber Alerts.
If you want to check out the full video of the hearing, or read Apple and Google’s testimony, check out the Senate Judiciary Committee page.
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