FCC, FTC invite Apple to location services forum

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 2014
The U.S. Federal Communications Commission and Federal Trade Commission announced Tuesday they had invited Apple and Google to a June 28 "public education forum" on the benefits and risks of location-based services.



The FCC indicated that the forum will aid agency staff in producing a report on location-based services that could recommend regulation to FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski and other commissioners, The Los Angeles Times reports.



In addition to Apple and Google, other technology companies, wireless providers, consumer groups and academics have been invited to participate in next month's hearing.



"Over the last few years, [location-based services] have become an important part of the mobile market and a boon to the economy," the FCC said Tuesday. "Commercial location-based services include applications that help consumers find the lowest-priced product nearby or the nearest restaurant.... But recent reports have raised concerns about the location-based information that is gathered when consumers use mobile devices."



According to the report, topics at the forum will include: "how location-based services work, their benefits and risks, and information parents should know about location tracking of children using mobile devices."



The joint FCC and FTC hearing will mark the third time that Apple has been called to testify before lawmakers on the issue. Apple testified last week at a Senate Judiciary Subcommittee hearing and will serve as a witness at a Consumer Protection, Safety and Insurance Subcommittee hearing on Thursday.







Security researchers drew attention to the location data privacy issue last month when they published a report claiming that an unencrypted database file in iOS 4 stored users' location information for as long as a year. Apple responded that the file was actually a database of nearby Wi-Fi hotspots and cell towers used to help an iPhone calculate its location.



As for the size of the file, Apple attributed the issue to a bug in iOS and has since resolved the problem with the release of iOS 4.3.3. According to Apple, the iOS update reduces the size of the cache, no longer backs up the cache to iTunes and deletes the cache when Location Services is turned off.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 22
    "We're the government, and we're here to help!"
  • Reply 2 of 22
    wbrasingtonwbrasington Posts: 381member
    Maybe they can include a topic on how dangerous it is to run android near wifi even with location services turned off!
  • Reply 3 of 22
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 30,558member
    Is there any goddamned thing these people don't want to stick their noses in?.... Don't answer that.
  • Reply 4 of 22
    magicjmagicj Posts: 406member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    Apple responded that the file was actually a database of nearby Wi-Fi hotspots and cell towers used to help an iPhone calculate its location.



    Range of your average Wi-Fi: 100-900 ft

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wi-Fi
  • Reply 5 of 22
    patranuspatranus Posts: 366member
    Such a waste of taxpayer money.
  • Reply 6 of 22
    magicjmagicj Posts: 406member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Patranus View Post


    Such a waste of taxpayer money.



    You don't feel that Apple can be taught the basics of privacy and how to implement it in its products?
  • Reply 7 of 22
    quadra 610quadra 610 Posts: 6,741member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by magicj View Post


    You don't feel that Apple can be taught the basics of privacy and how to implement it in its products?



    They don't need to be. Because they haven't violated them.
  • Reply 8 of 22
    magicjmagicj Posts: 406member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Quadra 610 View Post


    They don't need to be. Because they haven't violated them.



    Apparently 3 Congressional hearings and several lawsuits disagree with you.



    This is a widespread problem. Burying your head in the sand isn't going to make it go away.
  • Reply 9 of 22
    stompystompy Posts: 322member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by magicj View Post


    Apparently 3 Congressional hearings and several lawsuits disagree with you.



    This is a widespread problem. Burying your head in the sand isn't going to make it go away.



    There are worse places.
  • Reply 10 of 22
    magicjmagicj Posts: 406member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by stompy View Post


    There are worse places.



    I'm assuming you mean there are worse companies than Apple when it comes to handling privacy data. If so, I absolutely agree with you. Sony, Disney, Google, Facebook, and Twitter all have issues, for example. And Lord only knows what the smaller companies are doing.



    That's why these hearings are important. Congress needs to get a handle on the various problems occurring and update the laws so they don't continue to occur.
  • Reply 11 of 22
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Mister Snitch View Post


    "We're the government, and we're here to help!"



    You left out a word: "We're the government, and we're here to help [ourselves]!"





    Quote:
    Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post


    Is there any goddamned thing these people don't want to stick their noses in?.... Don't answer that.



    The oligopoly with SMS data costs, any potential data mining of my SMS data, and the inability to get my property unlocked after I?ve satisfied my contractual obligations.
  • Reply 12 of 22
    magicjmagicj Posts: 406member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by solipsism View Post


    You left out a word: "We're the government, and we're here to help [ourselves]!"



    22000 posts and not a single one worth reading.
  • Reply 13 of 22
    mdriftmeyermdriftmeyer Posts: 7,194member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Patranus View Post


    Such a waste of taxpayer money.



    A waste of Tax Payer Money are the 50+ billion in Corn and Oil Subsidies.
  • Reply 14 of 22
    mdriftmeyermdriftmeyer Posts: 7,194member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by magicj View Post


    22000 posts and not a single one worth reading.



    Oh. I'm sure the man is mortally wounded by such an overused cliche.
  • Reply 15 of 22
    magicjmagicj Posts: 406member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mdriftmeyer View Post


    Oh. I'm sure the man is mortally wounded by such an overused cliche.



    Hardly. The lawsuits and hearings will continue to pile up. The laws will be changed. Apple and several other companies will be forced, kicking and screaming, to respect privacy rights. And after it's all said and done certain folks will be still be denying there every was a problem.



    It's human nature to ignore reality, no matter how many times it tells you you're wrong.
  • Reply 16 of 22
    chris_cachris_ca Posts: 2,543member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by magicj View Post


    22000 posts and not a single one worth reading.



    Trying to catch up, are you?
  • Reply 17 of 22
    magicjmagicj Posts: 406member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Chris_CA View Post


    Trying to catch up, are you?



    Perhaps. Here's a few more links on privacy:



    Disney's Playdom Fined $3 Million for Violating Kids' Privacy

    http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2385444,00.asp



    New smartphone privacy alert as Android handsets found to be prone to leaking data

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencete...king-data.html



    Verizon To Begin Slapping Warning Label On Phones. Warn Of Location Tracking.

    http://gadgetsteria.com/2011/04/29/v...tion-tracking/



    Sony Declines To Comment At Congressional Hearing

    http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/0...-data-hearing/



    Facebook, Twitter, Google, Yahoo Fight CA Privacy Law

    http://www.fiercemobilecontent.com/s...law/2011-05-17



    Direct Marketing Association: 'Do Not Track Online Act' is Unnecessary

    http://it.tmcnet.com/news/2011/05/10/5498588.htm



    Google Holds Out Against ‘Do Not Track’ Flag

    http://www.wired.com/epicenter/2011/...-do-not-track/



    Government Declines Google's Request for Privacy

    http://www.dailytech.com/article.aspx?newsid=1003



    FTC smacks Twitter for privacy lapses

    http://money.cnn.com/2010/06/24/tech...itter_privacy/



    Bill Would Require Warrants For Govt to Access Your Email, Cloud Services

    http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2385533,00.asp



    House Releases 'Do Not Track Kids' Bill

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1000...709717734.html



    Senator Rockefeller proposes "Do Not Track" bill

    http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/...7471SA20110510



    Kerry, McCain offer bill to protect Web users’ privacy rights

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/busine...ef=NetworkNews



    Sweeping bill would update privacy law

    http://news.cnet.com/8301-31921_3-20063710-281.html



    Obama Proposes New Rule for Data Breaches

    http://www.credit.com/blog/2011/05/o...data-breaches/



    FTC's Vladeck: More Privacy Actions On The Way

    http://www.mediapost.com/publication...art_aid=150585



    And from the "You can run but you cannot hide" dept:

    Offshoring: Preparing for India's Proposed Privacy Rules

    http://www.networkworld.com/news/201...source=nww_rss



    PSN Attacks Have Aussie Government Changing Laws

    http://kotaku.com/5798383/psn-attack...-changing-laws
  • Reply 18 of 22
    anonymouseanonymouse Posts: 6,563member
    Lot's of anti-government sentiment, not a lot of actual discussion. Do we really need to cover why it's the government's business because it's the people's business? Does the government often actually side with the people vs. corporate interests? Not often these days, but that's because people, against their self-interest, out of an immature sense that, "no one's gonna tell me what to do," keep voting for politician's who don't believe government should do anything. We saw how well that philosophy worked out under Bush after Katrina.



    Protecting privacy against corporate invasion is at least as important as protecting it against government violation, especially as corporations gain more and more power. So, yes, the government's nose belongs in this business and the people deserve to have their liberty and privacy protected from corporate cyberstalkers. Unfortunately, until people start voting for politicians who believe that America is about liberty, and not just about making a buck any way possible, not much of substance is likely to change until some huge abuse of privacy turns into a scandal.



    And, I'm almost certain that magicj is MacTripper.
  • Reply 19 of 22
    magicjmagicj Posts: 406member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by anonymouse View Post


    And, I'm almost certain that magicj is MacTripper.



    No idea who that is.



    Repeatedly pushing things as I've done on this issue has it's own hazards. But, as Berry Goldwater said, moderation in pursuit of justice is no virtue.

    http://www.youtube.com/user/rx2008?b...14/HDRA3XFfDr4
  • Reply 20 of 22
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by magicj View Post


    Apparently 3 Congressional hearings and several lawsuits disagree with you.



    This is a widespread problem. Burying your head in the sand isn't going to make it go away.



    Paranoid much?



    Did you know that your home could be monitored by security agents that you paid for? You don't know what information they're collecting on you but you trust them enough to monitor your home.



    Did you know that late model security systems monitor your car's location and yet you pay for that. You also don't know what information they are collecting and yet you pay them for the service so that when your car is nicked or you're lost on the road you can find your car or your way.



    Why do we trust navigation systems or home security systems and yet a company like Apple - who has NEVER shown they do anything with the information they gather - gets railed on?



    The benefits outweigh the risks in my not so humble opinion.
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