Senator asks FTC to investigate Apple and Android about apps that misappropriate data

Senator asks FTC to investigate Apple and Android about apps that misappropriate data
Democratic Senator Charles Schumer of New York, is asking the FTC to check out a story in the New York Times that says both the iOS and Android platform can get access to private data without the consent of the user. The story in the Times said that certain iOS and Android apps can allow rogue developers access to a user's pictures, videos, and location data without the user aware of the theft of information. Allegedly, these apps could upload information from a phone's address book including names, addresses and phone numbers. In a letter to the FTC, the Senator wrote, "These uses go well beyond what a reasonable user understands himself to be consenting to when he allows an app to access data on the phone for purposes of the app's functionality."

Senator Schumer added that to his understanding, using apps to collect information without permission would violate the Terms of Service for both Apple and Android platforms and took a little hit at both Apple and Google by saying that he is not sure how these TOS are being monitored and enforced. The politician said that smartphone makers have an obligation to protect its customers private data. "Smartphone makers should be required to put in place safety measures to ensure third party applications are not able to violate a user's personal privacy by stealing photographs or data that the user did not consciously decide to make public," the Senator said, "When someone takes a private photo, on a private cell phone, it should remain just that: private."

source: Reuters

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10 Comments

1. Droid800

Posts: 22; Member since: Jan 23, 2012

Doesn't iOS prompt the user on whether to share the data though?

2. bayhuy

Posts: 320; Member since: Jun 23, 2011

It has become fashionable these days to talk about privacy protection...even if you do not know what that means ...

3. android_hitman unregistered

it's called political advertisement and it's FREE :D

4. Leo_MC

Posts: 7212; Member since: Dec 02, 2011

Let users the power to change every permission given to each app (just as Blackberry users) and there should be no more problem with the privacy.

7. Leo_MC

Posts: 7212; Member since: Dec 02, 2011

To the one that gave a thumbs down: we must understand that you think BB users are stupid?

8. bayusuputra

Posts: 963; Member since: Feb 12, 2012

agree to this.. if let's say an app requires access to personal data, we should be able to block it.. or at least moderate it.. i may be irritated by pop ups that ask for permissions to allow apps to retrieve something, but at least i would know what are the things that are being extracted, and also the option to deny it, although that may cause the app to misbehave.. if google allow this, they won't need to enforce protocols like the app store does, but it will be up to the end user itself to actually choose whatever they deem correct.. and google will still be able to protect the end customers as this feature is a kind of preventive measure but one that leaves the user as the final decision maker.. it's just like rooting, you get warranty and all its benefits, you are free to root your device as and when you want it, but if you do, you are on your own, do it at your own risk..

5. PAPINYC

Posts: 2315; Member since: Jul 30, 2011

You know, I'm a New Yorker born and UES (Upper East Side) raised, I wish that this knum-nut dork would take a bottle rocket up to his bûtt høle. He's always got that big snozzle stuck where it doesn't belong. He wants to ban energy drinks. He wants to ban those new caffeine inhalers. He wants to ban this, he wants to ban that. Now, he wants to monitor Smartphone manufacturers and companies that write the mobile platforms. Firstly, both Android and iOS have "opt out" options and privacy settings that can be user-defined. Secondly, I bet that queen still has a flip phone and wouldn't know how to use a smartphone, even if it tied him up and strapped him in black leather (which I'm sure he fancies). Why doesn't good ole meddlesome woodChuck Charles do something about all of those unnecessary taxes, fees and surcharges on wireless communications services, i.e., mobile phones and mobile devices?? Whatta' ya' say to that Chucky???

10. Adianshadows

Posts: 66; Member since: Nov 22, 2011

you mad bra???

6. tward291

Posts: 559; Member since: Feb 14, 2012

i would assume that you would stick to the market place for both these platforms if 3 rd party apps are doing this

9. bayusuputra

Posts: 963; Member since: Feb 12, 2012

he said that private pictures should remain that; private.. i guess i understand that.. (evil face) LOL..

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