U.S. Senator Al Franken demands answers from Apple’s Steve Jobs over iPhone tracking

“Less than a day after a pair of security researchers revealed that the Apple iPhone and iPad 3G record the device’s location history, Senator Al Franken, D-Minn., fired off a letter to Apple CEO Steve Jobs demanding that the company explain why,” Ki Mae Heussner reports for ABC News.

MacDailyNews Take: Nothing new was revealed yesterday. More info: Expert: iPhone tracking story is nothing new and Apple is not collecting the data

Heussner reports, “‘The existence of this information — stored in an unencrypted format — raises serious privacy concerns,’ Franken wrote in his letter to Jobs. ‘Anyone who gains access to this single file could likely determine the location of the user’s home, the businesses he frequents, the doctors he visits, the schools his children attend, and the trips he has taken — over the past months, or even a year.'”

“Franken concluded with a list of nine questions he wants Apple to answer, including explanations of why the company is gathering the data, why is it not encrypted, why Apple consumers were never explicitly informed of the data collection and to whom (including Apple) has the data been disclosed,” Heussner reports.

Read more in the full article here.

Related articles:
Expert: iPhone tracking story is nothing new and Apple is not collecting the data – April 21, 2011
‘untrackerd’ jailbreak utility blocks iOS from storing recorded iPhone location data – April 21, 2011
Apple’s iPhone tracks everywhere you go; stores the info in secret file on the device – April 20, 2011
Al Franken: Big corporations are ‘hoping to destroy’ the Internet – March 16, 2011


            1. @ SlyBriFry: because he is representing his constinuents who want to know. Set your partisanship aside for a millisecond and let Franken do his job.

              Even though I don’t live in Franken’s district, I sure want to know what the hell Apple is doing pulling a MS-type blunder like this. Why would anyone trust a company that doesn’t at the very least disclose to its customer what it’s doing? IMHO, user should have complete control over any data recording of any kind.

  1. I’m one of the biggest aapl fans there is, but they need to explain this and fix this. I know that the data is not transmitted to anyone, but just the fact that they are capturing this data and then storing it unencrypted as the default in the backups so that any app can access it is wrong. The biggest wrong is having them do this without my permission or telling anyone that the software is doing this.

    I downloaded the tracking app and ran it and it was frankly very eerie how EVERWHERE I have been for the last 1 1/2 years was displayed.

    1. They, in fact (I use that word way too much) did ask your permission right before you updated to ios4 (or when you activated your iphone).
      you checked the box and agreed (unless you did some jailbreak trick to get around the EULA)

      1. I just checked the EULA. Where in the EULA does it say that the device would keep a record of all location data and then store it permanently on my device, transfer it to all backups and then transfer it to other devices?

    2. Agreed. Regardless of the political swill in this thread, this is an example of the type of personal information that ought not to be retained on an IOS device under any circumstance.

    3. This has been explained and it is weird Al and the rather unscrupulous pair of “security researchers” that are not bothering the do any research before speaking and are twisting the truth by not providing the whole picture.

  2. There goes Al Frankenstein getting involved! I’m sure apple has a good explanation with this issue.
    But just to think, the absurdity of putting a stupid comedian in the government. I mean, really! What were the voters thinking?….

    1. >But just to think, the absurdity of putting a stupid comedian in the government. I mean, really! What were the voters thinking?….

      Same can be said for George Bush, Jr. GWB was pretty funny in the humor dept, but a terrible, ill-advised leader. He definitely missed his calling in life.

    2. … thinking they should take a chance and hope the NEW comedian would be less of a crook than the last one they elected. Franken has a decent record for honesty, for intelligence, and for representing his constituents. None of which could be said of the previous holder of that seat.

    1. When we have the choice to turn it off or on, THEN we are collecting the data. Until we have a choice, Apple is collecting the data. They may not be storing the data or even using it for anything in particular, but they are the ones collecting until they give us a choice.

  3. Self-aggrandized asswipes…as if ANYONE cares where you, or anyone else, has been! Cracks me up how A) people have these “secret” lives and B) they somehow think that anyone cares! Puhleese! Get used to being followed To your pot dispensary Mr. Franken…cuz it’s Only gonna get worse!

        1. My condolences for your neighbors stupidity. On the other, maybe they wanted her out of the state thinking that, with her out of MN and in the current Tea Party set, it would rise the average IQ in both places.

  4. Al “demands” answers! I’m sure AAPL is working diligently to meet the “demands” of a Senator known for his wisdom and concerns for the public welfare. Scratch that – I have confused the august Senator with someone else.

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