Device privacy has been an increasingly important topic to lawmakers in recent years, but discussion came to a head last week when two researchers revealed that the iPhone and 3G iPad keep a log file of every location the user has ever been, whether the iOS Location Services are turned on or not. The discovery was neither new nor hidden (and it turns out Google also does some level of location logging as well), but the announcement sparked a deeper look into how technology companies track and store our personal data.
Franken was the first to fire off a letter to Apple over the news, followed by Representative Ed Markey (D-Massachusetts). Both demanded answers about why Apple collects the data, how it’s generated, whether users can disable the location logging and so on.
Neither Apple nor Google have publicly acknowledged Franken’s call for a hearing just yet, and the companies did not respond to our request for comment by publication time. It’s in both of the companies’ better interest to attend, though, lest they want the DOJ, FTC, CDT and others to begin making plans for possible legislation without them.