U.S. Senate Democrat Rockefeller: Totally unregulated apps have to be regulated

“Apple and Google [yesterday] made a repeat appearance in front of the US Senate, newly joined by Facebook, for a subcommittee on mobile privacy,” Electronista reports.

“The corporations largely stuck to earlier positions in defense of their actions,” Electronista reports. “‘Apple does not track users’ locations — Apple has never done so and has no plans to ever do so,’ said Apple’s VP of government affairs, Catherine Novelli.”

“‘I think anyone who uses a mobile device has an expectation of privacy, and sadly that expectation is not always being met,’ commented Sen. John Rockefeller IV [D – WV] at one point during the hearing,” Electronista reports. “Topics during the hearing included the concept of ‘do not track’ lists, and Sen. Mark Pryor [D – AR] asked whether or not geotracking can ever be ‘legitimate.’ Rockefeller later commented that apps are ‘totally unregulated,’ something he wants fixed.”

Read more in the full article here.

CNET’s Declan McCullagh reports, “Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) said that ‘we need companies like Google and Apple and Facebook’ to join Microsoft, which has ‘already come down on the side of common sense’ in this area.”

“It wasn’t clear what Kerry meant,” McCullagh reports. “Microsoft also collects records of the physical locations of customers who use its mobile operating system, but the company did not testify at today’s hearing and has not responded to a list of questions about its data collection practices that CNET posed on April 25.”

McCullagh reports, “While the discussion was billed as being about mobile privacy, it soon veered in other directions, with senators waving around their iPhones and asking about ‘do not track’ lists and ads in e-mail, an apparent reference to e-mail spam. And Sen. Mark Pryor wondered whether it geotracking was ever ‘legitimate’ — even though without an app’s ability to transmit its location, location-based services wouldn’t function. Today’s situation is that ‘apps that are totally unregulated. and the question is what do we do about that,’ Rockefeller said. ‘They have to be regulated.'”

Read more in the full article here.

Related articles:
U.S. Senate Democrat Leahy introduces electronic communications privacy bill – May 18, 2011
Apple, Google, and Facebook to face 2nd U.S. Senate hearing on May 19 – May 17, 2011
Apple open to lawsuit over location data collection – May 11, 2011
Apple, Google detail mobile privacy policies before US Senate subcommittee – May 10, 2011
Recap of Apple and Google’s testimony before Senator Al Franken’s mobile privacy hearing – May 10, 2011


    1. I agree with you. It’s sad that this bastages waist our money this way. They need a Pay Cut. They are obviously under educated for their pay grade. They need to get a CLUE! DOH!

    2. As a member of the “Throw the Bums Out Party” (I always vote against the incumbent), I agree with you. Unfortunately, the replacements, of any stripe, are just as bad.

    3. … what about those more vile among the Android apps that have been noted here. As it stands, Apple, itself, regulates the apps that appear in the App Store. To the consternation of many coders. And we, here, chuckle over the screwing waiting for Android users seeking apps.
      That said … I agree with your sentiments. Do they apply, here?

  1. Dumbshits will do as dumbshits often do. Ask stupid irrelevant questions for the sake of the TV cameras hoping to appeal to clueless PC mongering constituents.

    The only apps that are ‘unregulated’ belong to Google’s Market Place. All apps in the iTunes App Store are vetted beforehand.

    Stupid is as stupid does. They should be gunning for Google instead of wasting taxpayers’ money pursuing Apple on issues they have no understanding of.

    1. The problem is, when they say “unregulated,” they mean “unregulated by the Government.” More government invasion of the private sector. That’s a scary thought.

    2. What about the elephant in the room? How is it that MicroSoft is not required to testify? Something fishy here.

      It is predominately Democrats who are spearheading this. I do not believe they are dumb, I think they are organized and with a purpose in mind. How many times have they shown their true intentions with the mention of “regulation?”

      You know for the past 6 months or so, criticism of Apple has come from so many different sources. Look out Apple you have a huge bull’s eye on your back.

  2. just what we need ignorant regulation and government control of business. yeah, cause they do so freakin well controling their own business (the debt crisis, political corruption, etc, etc) that they feel they are “experts” in controlling “unregulated” apps. what the hell?!?!? i swear to god politicians are nothing but a bunch of self absorbed, corrupt a$$holes.

  3. Lawmakers should be elected and paid to carefully pick those 10% of the laws which are not neccessary any longer instead of always adding more. We need less and better laws and not more laws and regulation!

  4. These guys are just upset about this issue because they probably all have mistresses and don’t want ANY evidence of their rendezvous with said mistress stored in their smartphone.

    1. Although we all know Strauss-Kahn is not American; I’d be willing to bet he has an IPhone perhaps two. Can you what his contacts list must comprise of???

      1. I heard that he ‘bumped’ his iPhone with Arnie’s with the result that Arnie’s screwing the Guinean housekeeper & DSK is screwing Arnie’s former maid.

        They do like a bit of domestic fun. Ooo la la! J’aime avoir des rapports sexuels avec des domestiques!

  5. What needs regulating is career politicians living off the teat of the American taxpayer as they live the life of a “Dominique Strauss-Kahn”.

    Get rid of all 2+ termers! Democrats and Republicans alike! They can’t use the “Experience Matters” argument as screwed up the country is economically, militarily, and foreign policy wise.

    Also, government should be deprived of it’s ability to create a budget. They create all this BS and then tell us what we need to pay. I say we tell them as a payers, this is the “allowance” you are going to have for the year and now you determine how you will spend it! Imagine if the country says to government, you get 2 trillion in allowance instead of a budget close to 4 trillion AND there is no tolerance for spending beyond that!

  6. Microsoft has a history of generosity toward politicians who are in a position to benefit the company (see favorable Justice Department ruling for MS after Geo W completely restaffed the place). I would be interested to see how generous they’ve been with Kerry.

    Where was all this regulatory fervor when Enron, Keating, Ebbers, Madoff, et al were fleecing their victims while no-one was watching them? Why aren’t there congressional investigations over the daily manipulation of stock prices, especially AAPL?

  7. Sen. Kerry is apparently clueless and in the hands of Microsoft. MS did not appear at the hearings. But Kerry said MS had “common sense”. Absurd!! Let’s see, we want to take away regulation of nursing homes, which have a sordid track record of sleaze, but “it’s time to regulate apps.” The lunatics have taken over the asylum. Sad to see Kerry cruising down the slippery slope.

  8. Kerry? I thought he was in Pokeestahn telling them how it was going to be.

    Where does he find the time to spread so much goodness (and ketchup) around the planet…?

    And BTW, if their had been as much regulation in the past as a certain Senator always wants, Rockefeller wouldn’t be a “Rockefeller”, if you know what I mean

    1. Maybe the wife or another rich female. He likes to “play” in France. Been doing it for years. He’s too clueless to deal with anyone from MS, etc.

  9. Rockefeller with his inheritance is now an upstanding Marxist who wants to tell all businesses what to do as he is smarter than the average bear.

    Preventing fraud is one thing that is already covered and could come under existing laws.

    I am automatically programmed to nix any unneeded laws.

    We have too many.

  10. politicians are the most clueless people on the planet

    they spend all their time and energy ‘getting elected’ and spend no time getting ‘educated’.

    Unfortunately they have so much power they Apple can’t stand up and humiliate them like “senator do you have any clue whatsoever about what we are discussing? Do you know the difference between say GPS and WiFi?”

    THANK GOD Steve Jobs wasn’t there:
    1) he would have been totally exasperated and insult them OR
    2) he would get a heart attack

    remember Jobs got into serious trouble some years back by daring to suggest schools should fire incompetent teachers as our children we too precious. He was asked to apologize and recant….

    if politicians actually ran anything we would be ‘computing’ with our fingers (counting them) instead of using iPads.

  11. Instead of being realistic and chastising the correct side of the equation, we get this typical knee-jerk reaction from John Rockefeller IV:
    ‘I think anyone who uses a mobile device has an expectation of privacy, and sadly that expectation is not always being met.”

    Dear John: The correct response should be directed to anyone using a telephone of any kind, anywhere, that if you use it, someone, somewhere can identify your location. And if you use a smartphone and enjoy knowing at the touch of button where the closest Starbucks is, then don’t be so naive to not know your location must be pinpointed to provide this little miracle. Yes, John, let’s rush out to create a new victim class.

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