The issue of privacy with regards to used cell phones such as the Apple iPhone and some Google phones has hit the headlines recently thanks to the revelation that smartphones are not only capable of tracking their users’ location but actually stores that information – in an unencrypted form – for up to a year afterwards. Now the contentious issue has come before the United States Congress, with Apple and Google being asked to account for their products.
“I love that I can use Google maps – for free no less – and the same for the app on my iPhone that tells me the weather, but I think there’s a balance, a balance we need to strike and this means we begin to change the way we think about privacy to account for the massive shift of our personal information into the hands of the private sector”, Minnesota Democratic Representative Al Franken said at the Senate Judiciary subcommittee which was held yesterday. “If it came out that the DMV was creating a detailed file on every single trip you’ve taken in the past year” there would be questions asked. Franken went on to say that in his opinion people have a right to know what kind of information is being collected about them, and whether or not they want to share that information in the first place.
Representatives from Apple and Google have both claimed that they are very concerned about the privacy of their users.