• Senator to Apple, Google: Get Serious About Privacy Policies

    Only two short weeks after executives from Apple, Google, and other tech giants provided testimony on Capitol Hill regarding mobile security and privacy concerns, questions and lingering apprehensions about these issues haven't subsided in the least. Well aware of the persistent concerns, one prominent US Senator has formally reached out to Apple and others, saying the time has finally come to either put up or shut up.

    On Wednesday, Senator Al Franken (D-Minn) sent a letter to Apple and Google that calls for the creation of mandatory privacy policies from all apps offered via Apple’s App Store and Google’s Android Market. It was Franken's judiciary subcommittee hearing on mobile tech privacy that initially enabled Apple and others to be grilled in such a high profile matter on these issues.

    In the letter, Franken says the time has come for Apple and Google to “commit to requiring that all applications in the Apple App Store and the Android App Market have clear and understandable privacy policies,” as a “simple first step towards further protecting your users’ privacy.”

    While Franken conceded that some apps already include a privacy policy, they are too few and far in between. The Senator from Minnesota even pointed to a recent study by TRUSTe and Harris Interactive, which indicated that less than 20% of the top 340 paid smartphone apps include a link to a privacy policy.

    Franken says “there is a greater need for transparency and disclosure for the collection and sharing of all personal information,” and asks “at a minimum,” that apps that make use of location data specifically be required to “provide privacy policies that clearly specify what kind of location information is gathered from users, how that information is used, and how it is shared with third parties.”

    Source: Washington Post
    This article was originally published in forum thread: Senator to Apple, Google: Get Serious About Privacy Policies started by Michael Essany View original post
    Comments 2 Comments
    1. KartRacer's Avatar
      KartRacer -
      I wish Franken and all his idiot supporters would get a damn clue. HE is in support and has voted in favor of the Patriot Act multiple times. Why no one reports his hypocrisy and stupidity is beyond me. The man is a moron, a liar, and a threat to freedom in this country and no one will come straight out and say it. For cripes sake, the man doesn't even know federal law. Apple and Google developers are way less dangerous to your privacy than the US Government he cried and whined to get elected in to and the ******* doesn't even know his job and what it entails. Please go away Franken, you're an idiot. Take your stupid supporters with you. Thanks.
    1. mobilexile's Avatar
      mobilexile -
      Senator Franken:

      As a person who voted for you I'm happy to see you're interested in privacy issues. Since you've decided to pursue privacy rights for smart phone users I expect you'll be consistent and go after other industries and groups with the same vigor. I include the United States government, among others, in this incompetent gaggle of privacy leakers and abusers.

      In keeping, I look forward to hearing your public reversal on your votes supporting the poorly-crafted and privacy-abusing Patriot Act. Surely you'll avoid being a hypocrite and correct the mistake you made when repeatedly voting to continue that flawed legislation.

      I also look forward to hearing you lash out at local government for similar privacy abuses. One example being Hennepin County, among others, selling birth and death records for $13 / month. Surely when a couple has a child they deserve some degree of privacy, don't you think? After all, the safety of babies is on the line. You care about babies, right?

      My favorite part will be hearing you attack companies that leak personal data through lax computer security practices. Heck, you're smart enough to see that one year of free credit reporting doesn't do anything to help protect me in two years, much less for the rest of my life, when a company has leaked my social security number. (Surely you know the Social Security Administration won't give out new SS numbers when they're compromised.)

      Gosh darn it, Mr. Franken. I'm damn happy you're going to be consistent, ethical and avoid being another Washington do-nothing Senator. I can't wait to see you put all your votes and initiatives into one coherent direction.

      Thanks much!
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