Franken Pressing Apple, Google On Privacy Issues

Thursday, May 26th, 2011 at 6:24 am

U.S. Sen. Al Franken, who was interviewed by WCMP on Wednesday, is now pressing Apple and Google to require clear and understandable privacy policies for all of their apps.

If the companies agree to this request, consumers who purchase apps from Apple or Google’s app stores would have a clearer understanding of what information is being collected about them and with whom it’s being shared. The letter is a follow-up to questions Sen. Franken asked of witnesses from Apple and Google at a recent hearing of the Judiciary Subcommittee on Privacy, Technology and the Law, which Sen. Franken chairs.

“Apple and Google have each said time and again that they are committed to protecting users’ privacy,” the senator wrote in a letter to the companies. “This is an easy opportunity for your companies to put that commitment into action.”

A recent study found that of the top 340 free apps, fewer than 20 percent included a link to a privacy policy, meaning that users who purchase apps have little knowledge about who is getting their personal information, how it’s being used, and who it’s being shared with.

The letter reiterates the request Sen. Franken made to Dr. Guy “Bud” Tribble, Apple’s Vice President of Software Technology and Alan Davidson, Google’s Director of Public Policy, who both testified at a May 10 hearing of the Judiciary Subcommittee on Privacy, Technology and the Law called Protecting Mobile Privacy: Your Smartphones, Tablets, Cell Phones and Your Privacy.

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