Apple, Google set to testify at U.S. Congressional hearing on location data to begin May 10th

“Representatives from both Apple and Google will testify at a Congressional hearing next month on consumer privacy and smartphones, two U.S. senators confirmed on Thursday,” Gregg Keizer reports for Computerworld. “‘I’m pleased that Apple and Google have confirmed that they’ll be sending representatives to testify at my upcoming hearing on mobile technology and privacy,’ Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) said in a statement issued today.”

“Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), the chairman of the Senate’s Judiciary Committee, also acknowledged the participation of the two firms,” Keizer reports. “‘It is essential that policy makers and the American people have complete and accurate information about the privacy implications of these new technologies,’ Leahy said in a separate statement.”

“Apple denied that it tracked users but said it would make changes to iOS,” Keizer reports. “Later in the day, CEO Steve Jobs told the Wall Street Journal that his company would participate at the hearing. Meanwhile, Google has said it collects location data from Android phones only when owners opt-in. ‘Any location data that is sent back to Google location servers is anonymized and is not tied or traceable to a specific user,” the company told the IDG News Service on Monday.'”

Keizer reports, “Franken’s hearing… is set to begin at 10 a.m. ET on May 10.”

Read more in the full article here.

12 Comments

  1. I wonder if Franken will come to my hearing on why all politicians are such worthless scalawags?.
    All Republicans and Democrats are asked to attend.

    A voter

  2. so they push it back a week so the esteemed gentlemen in WS can manipulate the next two weeks. Of course no mention of Sony and the credit card fiasco.

    1. Yea, I find it odd that possibly the biggest personal data breach ever has not been in any major headlines.

      I have told many people about it and almost all have not heard anything.

  3. So, if they can get this meeting about private companies set up and running so quickly, why can’t they figure out how to get together and do a government budget?

    1. I think it’s because asking a couple companies to send representatives to a meeting is at least nine billion times easier than balancing the budget of the largest federal government in the world in a highly polarized political environment.

  4. More of our tax dollars wasted on such a non issue. How about going after the oil companies for gouging the American public. I know, I know, supply and demand. They supply it and demand more money.

    1. Oil companies don’t gouge. Wall Street speculators control the price of crude oil. The price of crude oil influences the price of diesel and gasoline. That and federal, state and local consumer taxes.

    2. Actually, the issue of location data privacy is a very relevant issue. Regardless of partisan politics, I’m glad that our elected officials are taking an interest in this.

      I think Apple are truly pleased that this issue has achieved such a high profile, since it puts their competitors in the hot seat. iOS (and soon also Lion) provides the user with excellent fine-grained control over which apps are allowed to use location data. And Apple doesn’t rely on monetizing user information, while Google certainly does. (And Microsoft, it goes without saying, will do whatever they can get away with if it makes them money.)

      Expect squirming or question-dodging or issue-fudging from the Google rep at this hearing.

  5. Funny they don’t mention that if you opt out there is somewhere you can got to turn it on but if u opt in there is no where to go to turn it off. At least the ones I’ve got don’t. Only way I’ve found to turn them off is delete them then download them again & opt out when it asks.

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