We ran a story about how Apple silently tracks your location data and stores it on the idevices. And we also told you how to make sure that this does not happen without your consent. There have been reports about Google doing the same.

Well, this has gotten on the nerves of the US Lawmakers and they have sent a letter to the Handset giants Apple, Google, Microsoft , Nokia, Research in Motion and Hewlett-Packard asking them to verify their user location tracking policies.

location tracking Smartphone vendors take heat from Lawmakers on user location tracking

A US house committee that oversees the Privacy issues of the US citizens has shown concern that no company is authorized to store the customer user data without his consent. The biggest brunt is faced by Apple. Last week hackers (and may God bless them with eternal youth for their generous findings) discovered a “secret file” stored on Apple’s iPhone that tracks a user’s location without permission. The file contains the latitude and longitude of the phone’s recorded coordinates along with a timestamp. Quite interestingly, this file continues to accumulate data even when the location services are turned off.

Apple CEO Steve Jobs has been given a deadline of May 9, 2011 to respond to the Committee’s letter, which asks him to respond to a series of questions including “What location data do devices running your operating system track, use, store, or share?” and “Why does the device track, use, store, or share that data?.” Jobs has already refuted these allegations, as per a story on MacRumors.

Well Mr. Jobs, you can’t always fool the people. Time has repeatedly testified that people have always outsmarted the corporations.

Source :WSJ


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  3. Bruce Schneier: RIM can access user data
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  5. NASDAQ smartphone index – the stock index for the smartphone world

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