Apple and Google respond to the U.S. Senate regarding location-tracking
Apple, which was the first to be implicated in a potential breach of privacy, argued that they aren't really tracking device locations. Instead, they say they are using crowdsourcing to locate cell towers and Wi-Fi hotspots. And the "Consolidated.db" file, which prompted the privacy investigation, is allegedly not tracking individual user locations.
Google said that all of their location tracking is optional, and users can choose to turn their location services off. Apple's iOS, on the other hand, was still adding information to "Consolidated.db" even when location services were off. But a recent iOS update has remedied this.
Google further demonstrated their commitment to users' privacy by suggesting that privacy legislation be adapted to the present technological landscape. They point out that a user's data on a remote server isn't protected by the 4th Amendment (regarding search and seizure) in the same way that their physical property might be.
So is this just a dog-and-pony show for the consumer's benefit? We figure that even if Google and Apple are just trying to pacify consumers, it will still lead to an improvement in consumer privacy laws. What do you think?