Congress wants Apple to explain its mobile privacy policies

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Congress had already poked Apple about its mobile app privacy policy following the Path debacle but the company’s response apparently wasn’t good enough, as the government is demanding that Apple answer a few more questions.

To catch you up to speed, when it was found out that the Path app uploaded your contacts to its servers, there was a mini furor over app privacy. Path wasn’t the only one to do this but it took the majority of the heat. Congress decided to enter the fray and sent a letter to Apple asking that it clarify its policies regarding app privacy. Congress wasn’t happy with the response.

In a letter to Apple CEO Tim Cook, government officials said:

The March 2 reply we received from Apple does not answer a number of the questions we raised about the company’s efforts to protect the privacy and security of its mobile device users. In addition, subsequent to our letter, concerns have been raised about the manner in which apps can access photographs on your mobile devices and tools provided by Apple to consumers to prevent unwanted online tracking.[1] To help us understand these issues, we request that you make available representatives to brief our staff on the Energy and Commerce Committee.

On one hand, you do want the government and regulators keeping companies in line but I can’t help but feel like this is a bit of grandstanding. The Apple app privacy issues were real and appear to be fixed for now, so I don’t know if Congress needs to pile on more.

[Via PC Mag, EnergyCommerce.gov]

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