As Apple and Google’s Android are now ruling the market of mobile phones and even tablets, there’s an increasing concern that their privacy policies are not enough to actually protect users’ data. The latest concern comes from Senator Schumer who is asking the FTC to have Apple and Android probed.
According to Democrat Senator Charles Schumer, his concerning request is based on the several reports that both Apple and Android applications are using private content without the users’ agreement. He is asking the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to step in and take action to prove whether or not the said reports are real.
Referring to a report published last month regarding the fact that several iPhone and iPad app have been proved to be able to upload an impressive amount of data without their users knowing about it. From users’ private photo albums to their entire address books, the app in the report were able to upload these to their own servers, and users wouldn’t even be aware of the data surge.
The subject got into focus after the app Path was discovered to upload address books without the users’ permission. Last year, Apple has been facing scrutiny from regulators for a similar “blunder”. Photo Spy was said to actually track down users’ location, but Apple ruled it out as a method to improve location accuracy through the use of Wi-Fi networks’ database.
Charles Schumer’s letter to the FTC read: “These uses go well beyond what a reasonable user understands himself to be consenting to when he allows an app to access data on the phone for purposes of the app’s functionality”. As a result, many of these uses have been proven to be in violation of the privacy policies promoted by both Apple and Google’s Android.
The senator is pointing out that at the moment “it is not clear whether or how those terms of services are being enforced and monitored”. However, he thinks that “smartphone makers should be required to put in place safety measures to ensure third party applications are not able to violate a user’s personal privacy by stealing” data.