U.S. Congress Questions Apple on Address Book Privacy

U.S. Congress Questions Apple on Address Book Privacy

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Congress is now questioning Apple over privacy concerns that stemmed from the discovery that apps are able to access and store a users entire Address Book without permission.

House Energy & Commerce Committee Chairman Henry Waxman and Commerce Manufacturing and Trade Subcommittee Chair G.K. Butterfield sent a letter to Apple on Wednesday following privacy complaints over Path and other applications that can access and store address book data without permission, reports TNW.

Waxman and Butterfield are asking Tim Cook, or Apple, to answer the following questions:
● Please describe all iOS App Guidelines that concern criteria related to the privacy and security of data that will be accessed or transmitted by an app.
● Please describe how you determine whether an app meets those criteria.
● What data do you consider to be "data about a user" that is subject to the requirement that the app obtain the user's consent before it is transmitted?
● To the extent not addressed in the response to question 2, please describe how you determine whether an app will transmit "data about a user" and whether the consent requirement has been met.
● How many iOS apps in the U.S. iTunes Store transmit "data about a user"?
● Do you consider the contents of the address book to be "data about a user"?
● Do you consider the contents of the address book to be data of the contact? If not, please explain why not. Please explain how you protect the privacy and security interests of that contact in his or her information.
● How many iOS apps in the U.S. iTunes Store transmit information from the address book? How many of those ask for the user's consent before transmitting their contacts' information?
● You have built into your devices the ability to turn off in one place the transmission of location information entirely or on an app-by-app basis. Please explain why you have not done the same for address book information.

Apple is asked to respond by February 29. You can read the letter in full at the link below...

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U.S. Congress Questions Apple on Address Book Privacy

xi jinping - February 15, 2012 at 7:01pm
fair probe considering that article in the WSJ..... WHY ARE apps allowed to transmit extremly sensitive data?
dt - February 16, 2012 at 12:13am
Big storm brewing here. Apple screwed up...
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