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Get the Heck Out of My Phone
While I still believe that actions of Apple in storing information about where their iPhone goes each day is more egregious, it was discovered that Google is doing something questionable as well. So, for perspective, the Apple iPhone stores information about where it goes on the phone and then on the computer when it is synched. This information is not transmitted to Apple but resides on your computer and can be accessed by anyone with knowledge of it. You can see it as well with the application called iPhone Tracker. Apple insisted they never accessed the information. They didn’t have to. Both Apple iOS and Google Android mobile phones periodically send location information, cell tower strength, and Wi-Fi locations back to Apple and Google. Apple collected the information but has not stated whether they could cross reference it to the phone or user. Google collected the information and could cross reference it back to the phone. In any case, both companies have not met the expectation of privacy by most of their customers. Politicians around the world are expressing outrage and demanding investigations, with the most serious investigation expected by the German government. Germany is very strict with regard to laws and rules protecting privacy.
While there has been no response from Apple, Google has stated that users opt-in and give permission for the data collection. In this case, users must uncheck the opt-in box when activating their phones. Moreover the unique ID tied to the phone can be changed by the user to ensure anonymity. Google appears to understand basic privacy concerns and offers the user some control. The lack of a response by Apple is disconcerting and I hope ends soon. While neither company is a communications service provider, they might consider having information about CPNI Rules and Compliance read by their developers, operations personnel and key decision makers. Most of us at Broadvox have had to read it and by doing so, we understand our responsibility in protecting the privacy of our customers. Not a bad thing.