Apple responds to US congressmen's query about iOS privacy

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 2014
Apple has given a detailed summary its iOS privacy policy to two members of the U.S. House of Representatives who inquired about changes that were implemented in June.



Reps. Joe Barton (R-Texas) and Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) sent a letter to Apple Chief Executive Steve Jobs in June. The congressmen expressed their concerns over Apple's modifications to its iOS privacy policy, and asked for information on exactly what information Apple is gathering on its customers.



Bruce Sewell, general counsel for Apple, responded with a letter dated July 12, which explained the basics of the privacy policy revisions. Last month, the company added a new section to its customer privacy policy entitled "Location-Based Services." Users were required to agree to the new terms and conditions before they could download anything from iTunes or the App Store. Sewell said the company did this to ensure that everyone would see the changes.



The update said Apple and its partners could "collect, use and share precise location data, including real-time geographic location" of a device. The information could be supplied anonymously to help Apple's partners and licensees provide better products and services, but a user's personal information is never shared. Users can opt out of the service by visiting oo.apple.com.



In the letter, Sewell said Apple keeps location data for six months to improve its iAd network. After that, the information is aggregated.



"Apple does not share any interest-based or location-based information about individual customers, including the zip code calculated by the iAd server, with advertisers," the letter reads. "Apple retains a record of each ad sent to a particular device in a separate iAd database, accessible only by Apple, to ensure that customers do not receive overly repetitive and/or duplicative ads for administrative purposes."







He also noted that users have the ability to turn off location-based services in iOS under its settings, and also notifies users in iOS 4 when location based services are in use, through an icon arrow displayed in the system's status bar.



According to ZDNet, both Markey and Barton responded positively to Apple's explanation.



"Apple's responses provided additional information about how it uses location data and the ability of consumers to exercise control over a variety of features on Apple's products, and I appreciate the company's response," Markey said in a statement.



"While I applaud Apple for responding to our questions," Barton said, "I remain concerned about privacy policies that run on for pages and pages. I hope every business uses information for advertising and marketing purposes that will work toward more transparency and complete disclosure about their practices, as well as robust security for the information they hold."
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 26
    bartfatbartfat Posts: 432member
    Now for Google to publish how it uses our information.
  • Reply 2 of 26
    Quote:

    While I applaud Apple for responding to our questions," Barton said, "I remain concerned about privacy policies that run on for pages and pages. I hope every business uses information for advertising and marketing purposes that will work toward more transparency and complete disclosure about their practices, as well as robust security for the information they hold."



    Oh, that's brilliant; coming from the U.S. legislative body responsible for producing the U.S. Tax Codes... I think the Human Genome project and Human Genome database is less complex than U.S. Tax Code.
  • Reply 3 of 26
    mj1970mj1970 Posts: 9,002member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by SixPenceRicher View Post


    Oh, that's brilliant; coming from the U.S. legislative body responsible for producing the U.S. Tax Codes... I think the Human Genome project and Human Genome database is less complex than U.S. Tax Code.



    Or the recent health care bill, or the recent financial reform bill, or the PATRIOT ACT, or TARP, or...



    It's transparency for thee but not for me.
  • Reply 4 of 26
    avidfcpavidfcp Posts: 381member
    Goes to show you those that think we are living in this liberal "they (congress), have to do what we say or we'll vote them out of office are wrong, wrong, wrong. With all the former negative press that I find conflicting, " there is nothing wrong" "all phones does this" to "Apple admits iPhone 4 ds more calls than previous phones"which could be '

    an AT&T problem to Free to free cases until Seotember 30th, that congress can make your life he11 if they want. Geesh.
  • Reply 5 of 26
    avidfcpavidfcp Posts: 381member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by MJ1970 View Post


    Or the recent health care bill, or the recent financial reform bill, or the PATRIOT ACT, or TARP, or...



    It's transparency for thee but not for me.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by bartfat View Post


    Now for Google to publish how it uses our information.



    You can say that again!!
  • Reply 6 of 26
    Is Barton going to apologize to BP again?
  • Reply 7 of 26
    nvidia2008nvidia2008 Posts: 9,262member
    God Bless America. Sure, you guys don't have a perfect country but where I am the response from a large corporation to my congressperson/representative is usually a little "Hey hey, nudge nudge, wink wink..." and the "problem" "goes away"...
  • Reply 8 of 26
    chronsterchronster Posts: 1,894member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by nvidia2008 View Post


    God Bless America. Sure, you guys don't have a perfect country but where I am the response from a large corporation to my congressperson/representative is usually a little "Hey hey, nudge nudge, wink wink..." and the "problem" "goes away"...



    funny and sad at the same time. I wonder if a thousand years from now if this sort of thing spirals out of control and instead of governments, we have corporations running countries and their armies.
  • Reply 9 of 26
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by nvidia2008 View Post


    God Bless America. Sure, you guys don't have a perfect country but where I am the response from a large corporation to my congressperson/representative is usually a little "Hey hey, nudge nudge, wink wink..." and the "problem" "goes away"...



    If I might ask. Where are you from?



    It pretty much works the same here. Those stories just don't get reported too often; unless you create a mess the size of the BP disaster. kinda hard to cover that up.
  • Reply 10 of 26
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by chronster View Post


    funny and sad at the same time. I wonder if a thousand years from now if this sort of thing spirals out of control and instead of governments, we have corporations running countries and their armies.



    Nah The planets resources will have been drained well before 1,000 years under corporate rule and consumerism. We won't be here if we stay on that path. The better question might be are we suicidal as a species?
  • Reply 11 of 26
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by bartfat View Post


    Now for Google to publish how it uses our information.



    Google's Response...







    On topic, asking apple about it's privacy policy is a joke and seems more like general harassment. Placating to the uninformed masses? "Look we are truly concerned for your privacy." BS! Seems like some might not be too thrilled with Apple is forcing big change in industries that never want to change. afraid they might have too much control? I can see that.



    Why not force Google to do the same? MSFT, Yahoo. What about transparency for BP, Exxon Mobil, the auto industry, the electric companies and best of all the Federal reserve? What would be uncovered would make our heads would spontaneously explode It's all a lie and a cover up to some degree because everyone is out to protect their own interests in complete contrast to the concept of "the greater good".
  • Reply 12 of 26
    nvidia2008nvidia2008 Posts: 9,262member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by spliff monkey View Post


    If I might ask. Where are you from?



    I'd like to say, I've mentioned my location before in other posts. I prefer not to post in in this same thread, for obvious reasons... Let's just say the developing world remains, refreshingly, developing.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by spliff monkey View Post


    It pretty much works the same here...



  • Reply 13 of 26
    benicebenice Posts: 382member
    iOS devices automatically collect information on nearby cell towers and Wi-Fi access points along with GPS locations, batching and encrypting the data before sending it on to Apple.





    Apple, if correct, that makes you 10 times more evil than Google. At least Google only sniffed our Wi-Fi but had no clue who's Wi-Fi it was. If Apple are automatically collecting info on users whereabouts and sending it to their database every 12 hours, that is the most invasive disgraceful invasion of our privacy I can imagine. Even China monitors it's citizens less than that.



    It's completely unnecessary and is a far bigger issue than Antennagate.
  • Reply 14 of 26
    nvidia2008nvidia2008 Posts: 9,262member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by chronster View Post


    funny and sad at the same time. I wonder if a thousand years from now if this sort of thing spirals out of control and instead of governments, we have corporations running countries and their armies.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by spliff monkey View Post


    Nah The planets resources will have been drained well before 1,000 years under corporate rule and consumerism. We won't be here if we stay on that path. The better question might be are we suicidal as a species?



    After years[and centuries, as you mention], honestly, the "Western world" is coming to grips with sustainability and more responsible government. The developing world is still behind the curve, namely facing problems with dictatorships and blatant corruption (I mean, more than the usual you'd see in the "Western world").



    As a species, I think it's a half-full half-empty kind of thing. Consciousness and awareness of how we should live is arising in many parts of the world. At the same time, corporations, government and people continue to do "business as usual", ie. just content to survive, enjoy, not question.



    The thing is, we've got about a billion people kinda doing alright, relatively, another two billion on the path to a "better" standard of living, but there's the other half of the population (or at best one-third of the global population) that is just on a day-to-day existence.



    People keep having babies! It's the population man, it's just, too big. It is a central point over which humanity and the environment cannot reconcile.



    The US is one of the world's big polluters because of some of the big corporations, lifestyle, etc. but also because of the relatively high population growth (at about 1%) for a developed country.



    On a global scale though, the rate some countries are burning through energy, minerals, resources eg. China, next India, Africa in a few decades... Hmm it can be depressing.
  • Reply 15 of 26
    oc4theooc4theo Posts: 294member
    We Americans remain concerned about how Joe Barton collects bribery from oil companies for personal gain, and allow these corporation to ruin our environment, overcharge us, and not pay taxes.



    And we will like Joe Barton to make public his meetings with these thugs that take our natural resources without paying fair value to the treasury.
  • Reply 16 of 26
    sky kingsky king Posts: 189member
    If there is a single agency in the world I do not trust to protect my privacy it is the US government. I would be better off trusting the KGB than my own government.
  • Reply 17 of 26
    jragostajragosta Posts: 10,473member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Sky King View Post


    If there is a single agency in the world I do not trust to protect my privacy it is the US government. I would be better off trusting the KGB than my own government.



    Not a problem. There are planes to Moscow every day.
  • Reply 18 of 26
    trajectorytrajectory Posts: 647member
    So where are all the people who excoriated Chuck Shumer for writing his letter to Apple?



    Don't these politicians have bigger problems to solve than worrying about Apple's iAds and phone antennas??
  • Reply 19 of 26
    ochymingochyming Posts: 474member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by chronster View Post


    funny and sad at the same time. I wonder if a thousand years from now if this sort of thing spirals out of control and instead of governments, we have corporations running countries and their armies.



    : Just wait. It is inevitable.

    : Yeah, people always turn right in the end, and sooner when the bank count got somber inches up.
  • Reply 20 of 26
    trajectorytrajectory Posts: 647member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by chronster View Post


    funny and sad at the same time. I wonder if a thousand years from now if this sort of thing spirals out of control and instead of governments, we have corporations running countries and their armies.



    We won't have to wait for 1,000 years for this to happen, it's already coming true.
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