We told you about an impending senate judiciary hearing on mobile privacy following media controversy surrounding Apple’s iPhone and the way in which it stores location data. Google was also invited to attend the hearing after being accused of storing location data via their Android mobile operating system. Today members of the US Congress gathered for the senate committee hearing led by Senator Al Franken.
Among the more notable speakers were Google’s Director of Public Policy Alan Davidson and Apple’s Vice President of Software Technology Bud Tribble. Both were given adequate time to explain their company’s position on storing location data, as well as what they plan on doing to improve privacy on their mobile platforms going forward. Below is a snippet from Tribble’s testimony outlining Apple’s stance:
“We do not share customer information with third parties without our customers’ explicit consent. Apple does not track users’ locations. Apple has never done so and has no plans to do so. An Apple device does not send to Apple any specific device information associated with a user. The purpose of the cache is to allow the device to more quickly and reliably respond to location requests. Apple was never tracking an individual user’s location. The data seen on the iphone was not the location past or present of the iPhone, but the location of cell towers surrounding the phone. Although the cache was not encrypted, it was protected from other apps on the phone.”