U.S. legislators demand answers from Apple
A number of U.S. legislators have expressed concern over a recent report that iPhones and iPads running iOS 4 are stealthily tracking and logging the locations of their owners.
"The existence of this information - stored in an unencrypted format - raises serious privacy concerns," Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) wrote in a letter to Apple CEO Steve Jobs.
According to Franken, the data, which is said to be accurate to "50 meters or less," could be easily exploited by "criminals and bad actors."
Rep. Jay Inslee (D-Wash.), a member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, expressed similar sentiments in an official statement and vowed to formulate "comprehensive online privacy legislation" to further address the issue.
"I'm deeply disturbed by this report... Clearly, current law fails to ensure consumers are protected from privacy violations.
"I intend to ask Apple and the federal agencies charged with oversight some very direct questions to understand the frequency and extent of this data collection and the use, protection and sharing of this sensitive information. This episode, and many others, illustrates the need for enhanced government oversight of data collection activities," he added.
It should be noted that the above-mentioned report has also prompted the FCC to "look into the matter" of Apple storing location-based data and time stamps without alerting users.