These 34 App Makers Got Letters From Congress Questioning Their Privacy Practices

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Photo: Spencer Chen (@spencerchen)

The United States House Committee on Energy and Commerce wants to know what is up with apps that collect personal information.So two ranking members, Henry A. Waxman and G.K. Butterfield, sent out letters to 34 iOS developers on Thursday to get a “fact-based understanding of the privacy and security practice in the app marketplace.” 

The letter to began like this:

Last month, a developer of applications (“apps” for Apple’s mobile devices discovered that the social networking app Path was accessing and collecting the contents of his iPhone address book without having asked for his consent. Following the reports about Path, developers and members of the press ran their own small-scale tests of the code for other popular apps for Apple’s mobile devices to determine which were accessing address book information. Around this time, three other apps released new versions to include a prompt asking for users’ consent before accessing the address book. In addition, concerns were subsequently raised about the manner in which apps can access photographs on Apple’s mobile devices.

The letters were sent out to 34 companies developing iOS apps. Here’s the list:

  • Alexa Andrzejewski of Foodspotting
  • Lucas Buick of Synthetic, LLC
  •  Bill Chasen of
  • Tim Cook of Apple
  • Dick Costolo of Twitter
  • Dennis Crowley of Foursquare Labs
  • Adam D’Angelo and Mr. Charlie Cheever of Quora
  • Sherif Fahmy of Eye2i
  • Paul Haddad and Mr. Mark Jarding of Tapbots
  • Mark Hall of Remixation
  • Steve Jang of Schematic Labs 
  • Sutha Kamal of Massive Health
  • Jason Karas of Trover
  • Andy Kim of District Nerds
  • Alexander Ljung of SoundCloud
  • Doug Ludlow of Hipster
  • Martin May and Mr. Brady Becker of Forkly
  • Melissa Miranda and Mr. Dick Brouwer of Tiny Review
  •  Brooke Moreland of Fashism
  •  Dave Morin of Path
  • Damien Patton of Banjo
  • Lenny Rachitsky of Localmind
  • Redaranj, LLC (Recollect)
  • Corey Reese of Ness Computing
  • Michael Seibe of Socialcam
  • Ben Silbermann of Cold Brew Labs, Inc. (Pinterest)
  • Jonathan Slimak and Mr. Hugo Bernardo of Piictu
  • Robby Stein of Stamped
  • Kevin Systrom of Burbn, Inc. (Instagram)
  • Andrea Vaccari of Glancee
  • Michael Waterfall and Mr. Oliver Waters of d3i Ltd. (Momento)
  • Jin Woo So of SK Planet Co., Ltd. (dishPal)
  • Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook

You can read the letter here.

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