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
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.
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.
Imagine being an engineer at RIM
This is not an investigation, they are asking companies to help them understand the issues for future legislation...
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).
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
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.