May 18, 2011

Senate Committee to Question Online Giants on Smartphone Privacy … Again

Tomorrow, May 19, Apple, Google and Facebook will respond to questions from the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation on the topic of industry practices in online mobile data collection and usage. This is the second time in two weeks that Apple and Google have been called before the committee to discuss how they use and store personal information gathered about their users. Facebook was also asked to participate this time around after questions were raised about how it handles data about its users.

With the huge growth in the adoption of smartphones, more information than ever is being collected about mobile users, including their location, their contacts, and other personal information, often with minimal notification. As smartphones go mainstream and move well beyond early adopters, the mobile industry as a whole needs to raise the bar and deliver transparent notifications that anyone can understand. Awareness is critical in safeguarding people’s privacy consumers need to be aware of when and how their sensitive data is accessed and used.

Although we can’t immediately affect the policies of an entire industry, we can make sure there is an open dialogue about important issues like these so people are aware and can join the debate if they choose. To keep our own users informed about which apps on their phones collect different types of personal data we offer Privacy Advisor. Empowered with this information, our users can make their own decisions about which apps they want to keep on their phone.

Privacy Advisor

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