Apple and Google to Testify at Congressional Hearings on Privacy

Computerworld reports that U.S. senators have confirmed that representatives from Apple and Google will participate in Senate hearings on privacy spurred by questions over location databases stored by the companies' smartphone operating systems.

"I'm pleased that Apple and Google have confirmed that they'll be sending representatives to testify at my upcoming hearing on mobile technology and privacy," Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) said in a statement issued today.

Franken, who chairs a new Senate privacy panel, added that the hearing was a "first step" in Congressional inquiries whether federal laws have kept up with the surge in mobile devices, including smartphones and tablets.

Franken was the first federal legislator to lodge a formal inquiry with Apple about its practices, seeking information on what data the company is collecting and what it is doing with it.

Franken's hearing, which is set to begin at 10 a.m. ET on May 10, will also take testimony from officials with the U.S. Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission, as well as from Justin Brookman, director of consumer privacy at the Center for Democracy & Technology.

Apple officially responded to the controversy earlier this week after it had investigated exactly what was going on and determined how best to explain the situation. Apple CEO Steve Jobs noted in an interview on Wednesday that he expected that Apple would testify for governmental representatives, calling it "great" that they were interested in the topic.

Top Rated Comments

(View all)
Avatar
117 months ago

LOL

I know, right? 77 million people may have gotten their CC info, personal gaming habits, and address and contact info stolen. But hey, THAT was an "accident" brought upon by illegally exploiting flaws in the system.

The Apple case is a situation where someone could find out within a couple miles where you used to have gone. It's different though, because THAT was an "accident" brought upon by illegally exploiting flaws in the system.

...

Waitaminute...


LOL that was pretty funny...

But again, there was no way for anyone at Apple to find out because the data is encrypted anonymously AND it's saved on your own darn computer lol.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
117 months ago

While some may argue that Apple and the iphone user have an agreement that allows Apple to collect data in one fashion or another, the agreement cannot be made if the iphone owner knows nothing about it.

Collection of data needs to be disclosed to the public in order for individuals to be able to make a choice. I don't know if a company can be made to offer a choice of collection or no collection . Perhaps it is their right to say if you buy this, this is how it works. But at the very least they have to tell you that is how it works. If not legally bound to offer the ability to stop data collection, I would think a company that offers the choice has a better public image. ...CLIP

Remember all those little boxes that popped up saying "this app wants to use location information, is that OK?" and you checked "yes?" Well, that was your agreement to allow them to gather the data. The overall agreement you so blithely agreed to when you bought the device and activated it included language that gives apple and its subsidiaries and partners the right to collect that location information. If you, as a consumer, didn't read the agreement, then it's not Apple's problem that you agreed to an unread document. As a consumer, you have to assume responsibility for what you agree to when when buy stuff.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
117 months ago
People who minimize the importance of privacy don't get it.

Sure you can say there is no abuse of the privacy, etc. Yet it is still important to fight for rights. Establishing precedent that privacy rights are "quaint" and unnecessary now makes it more difficult for later generations to use those rights when they might be necessary. The world is not static.

The rate at which rights are abandoned is also a factor. Shrugging off privacy rights now on seemingly harmless data gathering data makes it easier for entities to take the next step 5 years from now and use that data in some fashion without permission. At that point it isn't gathering and using data without consent that would be new. It would only be trivial usage. After all the gathering would have been going on and everyone is use to that. Five years after that another incremental step won't be such a shock. Its the frog in boiling water vs. the frog in water slowly warming. Take too big a step to infringe on rights and people get concerned. Take small incremental steps and people don't notice.

Finally, there is an issue with what I call modern day peasants. These are the people who will rally to the cause of the ultra rich or mega corporations at the expense of themselves. In one breath they support a company going to court over corporate espionage or infringement of intellectual property. But when it is the little guy wanting to fight for a personal right, the support of the modern day peasant isn't there. Especially if it is the little guy vs. the government or a large corporate entity. The modern day peasant a sycophant . Like the peasant of medieval times, he or she kisses up to the local lord thinking someday the favor will be returned. The lord, CEO or politician really has no interest in inviting the peasant to the castle or country club but appreciates the loyalty.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
117 months ago

This has got to be the most frustrating thing in the world to sit there and have someone who is your absolute intellectual inferior (on this subject) sit there and tell you how to do your job.


Imagine being an engineer at RIM

Get statements UNDER OATH and bring charges if Apple tries to spew lies and half truths. I would love to see Apple executives do the perp walk if they lie during this hearing.


This is not an investigation, they are asking companies to help them understand the issues for future legislation...
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
117 months ago
Is this the same government that used warrantless wiretaps on AT&T customers in the "fight against terror"? I find this whole ordeal ironic.

Side note, someone suggested Apple may have intentionally wanted this leaked in order to bring other companies such as Google to the forefront of this issue, perhaps as a way to dodge a bullet. I can't imagine any company being so blasé about an issue such as this (aside from "Aettana-Gate" which was more media hype).


People who minimize the importance of privacy don't get it..

I'm more concerned about "The Patriot Act," you know, that "little law" the Bush admin instated that basically threw out "Due Process" and tore up the Constitution. Our founding fathers are rolling in their graves...

...although honestly, they can follow me all they want, my life is BORING. Heck, Jobs can come by for dinner any time. I'll even make certain it's Vegan :p
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
117 months ago

Yeah because this issue is so much more crucial than the debacle over at Sony with the PSN thing. :rolleyes:


LOL

I know, right? 77 million people may have gotten their CC info, personal gaming habits, and address and contact info stolen. But hey, THAT was an "accident" brought upon by illegally exploiting flaws in the system.

The Apple case is a situation where someone could find out within a couple miles where you used to have gone. It's different though, because THAT was an "accident" brought upon by illegally exploiting flaws in the system.

...

Waitaminute...
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

Apple Acquires Weather App Dark Sky

Tuesday March 31, 2020 10:22 am PDT by Juli Clover
Apple has acquired weather app Dark Sky, Dark Sky's developers announced today. Dark Sky is one of the most popular weather apps on the App Store, known for its accuracy and storm warnings. Our goal has always been to provide the world with the best weather information possible, to help as many people as we can stay dry and safe, and to do so in a way that respects your privacy. There is no ...

Zoom Accused of Misleading Users With 'End-to-End Encryption' Claims Amid Other Security Issues [Updated]

Wednesday April 1, 2020 2:47 am PDT by Tim Hardwick
Zoom is facing fresh scrutiny today following a report that the videoconferencing app's encryption claims are misleading. Zoom states on its website and in its security white paper that the app supports end-to-end encryption, a term that refers to a way of protecting user content so that the company has no access to it whatsoever. However, an investigation by The Intercept reveals that...

Case for Upcoming Low-Cost iPhone Shows Up at Best Buy With Alleged April 5 Stock Date

Monday March 30, 2020 4:25 pm PDT by Juli Clover
Apple has a new low-cost iPhone in the works, which is supposed to be launching sometime in the first half of 2020. Given the ongoing situation in the United States and other countries, it's been unclear if the device is going to launch within the planned timeline, but there are signs that it could be coming soon. We started seeing cases for the new low-cost iPhone back in early February,...

Bloomberg: Apple's 5G iPhone Still on Schedule for Fall Launch, But Future Products Could Be Delayed

Monday March 30, 2020 2:40 am PDT by Tim Hardwick
Apple's 5G iPhone is still on track to launch within the company's typical annual fall release schedule, according to a new Bloomberg report on filed on Monday. Signs are that Apple's Chinese-centric manufacturing -- of which Hon Hai is the linchpin -- is slowly getting back on track. The next iPhones with 5G wireless capabilities remain on schedule to launch in the fall, partly because mass...

Testing Brydge's New Pro+ Keyboard With Trackpad for iPad Pro

Monday March 30, 2020 2:04 pm PDT by Juli Clover
Well ahead of when Apple introduced trackpad support in iOS 13.4, Brydge announced an iPad Pro keyboard with a built-in multi-touch trackpad. We have one of Brydge's new Pro+ keyboards on hand, and thought we'd check it out to see how it works with Apple's new 2020 iPad Pro models. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. The Brydge Pro+ keyboard is similar in design to...

Apple's Work on New Upcoming Products Progressing Normally as Employees Adjust to Telecommuting

Monday March 30, 2020 11:58 am PDT by Juli Clover
Apple's development of upcoming products is progressing as usual despite the fact that Apple employees around the world are working from home, according to a new report today out from Bloomberg. Apple is still working on new versions of the HomePod, Apple TV, MacBook Pro, budget iPads, Apple Watch, iPhone, and iMac, all of which could be released "as early as later this year" and have been...

Apple Releases ProRes RAW Beta for Windows

Monday March 30, 2020 9:33 am PDT by Juli Clover
Apple today released ProRes RAW for Windows in a beta capacity (via Mark Gurman), with the software designed to allow ProRes RAW and ProRes RAW HQ video files to be watched in compatible applications on Windows machines. According to Apple, the software will let the files be played within several Adobe apps: Adobe After Effects (Beta) Adobe Media Encocder (Beta) Adobe Premiere...

Apple Configurator 2 Updated With New Features, Including Support for Restoring Firmware on 2019 Mac Pro

Tuesday March 31, 2020 5:34 am PDT by Joe Rossignol
Apple Configurator 2 has been updated to version 2.12 with several improvements, including support for restoring firmware on the 2019 Mac Pro. The release notes:• Added support for restoring firmware on the 2019 Mac Pro • Allow access to websites using TLS 1.0 and 1.1 • VPN: Configure Provider Designated Requirement for Custom SSL connection type • VPN: Configure network options for ...

Seemingly Unreleased Version of Logic Pro X With Live Loops Appears on Apple's Education Site [Updated]

Sunday March 29, 2020 7:23 am PDT by Hartley Charlton
Update: Apple has replaced the Logic Pro X image with an older version. Original story follows. A seemingly unreleased version of Logic Pro X has appeared on Apple's education site, as spotted by a Reddit user. The image from Apple's education products page shows a 16-inch MacBook Pro running Logic Pro X, but with a familiar interface that looks extremely similar to GarageBand's Live Loops ...

Apple's 2020 MacBook Air vs. 2020 iPad Pro

Wednesday April 1, 2020 2:45 pm PDT by Juli Clover
Apple in March updated both the MacBook Air and the iPad Pro, and with the iPad Pro increasingly positioned as a computer replacement, we thought we'd compare both new machines to see how they measure up and which one might be a better buy depending on user needs. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. We're comparing the base model 12.9-inch iPad Pro and the base model...