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U.S. Senator Asks FTC to Investigate Apple and Google Over Photo Uploads to Appmakers [Updated]

Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY) has asked the Federal Trade Commission to investigate reports that Apple and Google give app developers access to videos and photos on users smartphones.


From Senator Schumer's press release:
“When someone takes a private photo, on a private cell phone, it should remain just that: private,” said Schumer. “Smartphone developers have an obligation to protect the private content of their users and not allow them to be veritable treasure troves of private, personal information that can then be uploaded and distributed without the consumer’s consent.”

According to reports by independent technologists, two separate loopholes, one in the Apple operating system and one in the Android operating system, allow apps to gather users’ photos. In the case of Apple, if a user allows the application to use location data, which is used for GPS-based applications, they also allow access to the user’s photo and video files that can be uploaded to outside servers. In the case of Android-based applications, the user only needs to allow the application to use Internet services as part of the app for third parties to gain access to photo albums.
Apple has attracted Congressional attention over its privacy policies several times in the past, once last year over location-tracking issues, and again earlier this year over the discovery that iOS app Path was uploading entire user address books to its servers.

However, The Verge reports that the photo uploading ability Schumer refers to is a bug, and a fix is on the way in an upcoming version of the iOS software.

Update: According to Senator Schumer, representatives from both Apple and Google have agreed to meet with him.

Top Rated Comments

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31 months ago
I've never understood how Congress can choose to get involved with these super nitty-gritty issues of life, yet the American public doesn't think they should be allowed to get involved with basic things Americans need like healthcare or investment in future industries to create jobs.
Rating: 20 Votes
31 months ago
Looks like somebody wants folks to know their name and face during an election year.
Rating: 18 Votes
31 months ago
In other words: "I don't want those photos of me doing things I shouldn't have been doing to go public. And, if they do go public. . . that's not my weenus."
Rating: 17 Votes
31 months ago
Our tax dollars hard....I mean hardly at work.

Seriously....go solve poverty or the economy or something that really matters.

Steve
Rating: 14 Votes
31 months ago
Ask Chuck Shumer if he could spend that time making a (1000 days overdue) budget for the Senate.
Rating: 14 Votes
31 months ago
The country just increased it national debt by ~50% in the last 2 years, real unemployment is ~15%, real inflation is ~10%, and this ass clown is wasting time with Google and Apple over this issue?

No wonder this country is broken.
Rating: 13 Votes
31 months ago

He's been out Senator since 1998, and there's a good reason. He's actually not a nose-up money-hoarding snob like 9 out of 10 politicians out there. He's very much for-the-people, and he has no problem taking part in small-town events, large-scale fundraisers, and otherwise "insignificant" events that most politicians wouldn't even recognize. He's a very concerned individual, and this is one of the many examples. He does a lot that goes under the national media's radar. As we know, only the mud-slinging goes on there. He's not about that in the least.


He is "for the people" yet he voted for legislation which required every private citizen to use private money to buy a private product for personal use from a private sector company or face jail time.

He called a flight attendant a 'bitch' for doing her job.

Sounds like an upstanding Senator.......
Rating: 12 Votes
31 months ago
There is no chance in hell Schumer understands the issue. Zero. Or just about anyone in Congress, for that matter.
Rating: 11 Votes
31 months ago
******* schmuck shumer, another left wing whack job. he sucks and is a horrible senator along with the rest of the left wing socialist idiots.
Rating: 10 Votes
31 months ago
...congress pays attention to oversights in software design instead of something important, like net neutrality or the economy.

It's like they're looking for press or something... Obviously Apple and Google aren't trying to allow 3rd parties to violate people's privacy (though they might be trying to do it themselves).
Rating: 10 Votes

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