Carriers asked to save location data for two years by the government

Carriers asked to save location data for two years by the government
Deputy Assistant Attorney General Jason Weinstein, speaking at a hearing to discuss recent questions raised recently about Apple and Google's location tracking practices, said that the government would like to see carriers keep location data information for 2 years. "When this information is not stored, it may be impossible for law enforcement to collect essential evidence," said Weinstein. Last month, at a separate hearing, the Deputy Assistant Attorney General said, "In many cases, these records are the only available evidence that allows us to investigate who committed crimes on the Internet. They may be the only way to learn, for example, that a certain Internet address was used by a particular human being to engage in or facilitate a criminal offense."

As we reported, Apple and Google have been criticized for allegedly storing location data and other personal information on the Apple iPhone or Android handsets. For its part, Apple's recent iOS 4.3.3 update made personal data files smaller, reduced the length of time that the data would be kept on the phone and prevented the data from being collected if the user turns off location tracking on his iPhone. A representative from the FCC said at the hearing that personal data should be collected only if necessary to provide a service or to close a transaction.

Senator Al Franken (D-Minn.) called the hearing so that mobile phone owners could discover "who has their information and what they're doing with it." Franken, who tripped up AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson on Wednesday, opened the hearing by directing a question to Apple's VP of software technology, Bud Tribble. The Senator asked Mr. Tribble how Apple could respond to the location tracking problem by discussing all of the cool things that location tracking does while at the same time, Apple CEO Steve Jobs says that location tracking does not exist.

source: PCWorld via Phonescoop



1. JeffdaBeat unregistered

Wait a tick...You bring Google and Apple to Capitol Hill because of tracking cell phones and then you tell that's exactly what we want you to do! Now I have a problem with this. Google and Apple...for now...can't mess with my life via my location tracker other than sell adds. The government is a different story. I'm not some paranoid guy, but tracking my location and saving it for two years absolutely infringes on my privacy. Apple kept the info on my computer...

6. remixfa

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 2008

i completely agree. its an over reach of big brother into our private lives. we have a reasonable expectation of privacy and the government needs to remember that. that whole "well if your not committing crimes, why do u care" aregument is crap.

2. Darnelll unregistered

This makes me not want to have a cell phone. There are a lot of things we will need to teach our children about the implication of their technology, how they use, and the consequences it could bring. Almost makes me miss the old brick cell phone days even though i love using cool phones, its not worth all this for me.

3. dudemanrod

Posts: 39; Member since: Apr 15, 2011

great... i'm now going to walk around with my battery out of the phone and only put it in there when i absolutely need to use it.. or buy a tinfoil cap jpg

5. WirelessCon

Posts: 311; Member since: May 11, 2010

Big Brotha is looking out for us. He cares so much. I feel safer now. Thank you, Big Brotha.

7. taco50

Posts: 5506; Member since: Oct 08, 2009

This was my point about all the people that were outraged by the Apple story. If you have a cell phone. Any cell phone not just smartphones and you think you're not tracked you're very naive. Carriers are not even allowed to activate a phone if gps tracking is not enabled on it. Only way to not be tracked is not have a cell phone.

9. Sniggly

Posts: 7305; Member since: Dec 05, 2009

We all know it's possible for the government to find your current location. That wasn't the issue with apple and you goddamn know it.

15. taco50

Posts: 5506; Member since: Oct 08, 2009

taking this a little personal aren't you fanboy?

16. Sniggly

Posts: 7305; Member since: Dec 05, 2009

Just sick of having to keep explaining simple concepts to fucktards like you and Lucas and then seeing you deliberately ignore my points so you can keep being ifanboys.

8. Sniggly

Posts: 7305; Member since: Dec 05, 2009

No. Goddamned. Way. Really? What utter hypocrisy. Incidentally, this article was careful to omit the simple fact that Apple's moves brought it up to par with Google's data collecting methods.

10. LionStone

Posts: 1048; Member since: Dec 10, 2010

A couple years ago I was held up point blank by a kid (18 yr old) with an Uzi...I gave him my cell and wallet. Very quickly I called to disable the phone, but a few minutes later I realized that the police may be able to track him because I had "location" turned on, so I had my phone turned back on. Probably a day later or so, detectives were finally able to get the warrant to Verizon to obtain the ability to track my phone. What bugged me was how long Verizon took to let the cops track my phone. But then I also realized that this is probably a good thing, so it's really not that easy for law enforcement to track you unless there's police reports, etc. and a really good reason to do so. I guess maybe by the third day, they closed in on the guys...I identified the one guy that held me up, and eventually testified...between the two guys, they held up/robbed about ten people. So in this case I was very happy that we have 'tracking' ability.

11. dudemanrod

Posts: 39; Member since: Apr 15, 2011

so, would you vote for a bill to pass that everyone be imbedded with a tracking device in their skin... just because some good could come out of it, doesn't mean it's right... lines that can easily be crossed

12. monkeyfeet

Posts: 32; Member since: Jan 27, 2011

How is this even legal??

17. luis_lopez_351

Posts: 951; Member since: Nov 18, 2010

Like we all didn't know that. If you didnt then your an idiot :) why would our government let us run around un supervised?

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