iPhones, iPads Collect and Store User Location Data

Security researchers have found that Apple records detailed location data of iPhone and iPad users. The information, which includes latitude/longitude and a time stamp, is captured by the devices and then transferred to a user's computer where it is stored unencrypted. It is not clear whether Apple is able to access the file directly. Senator Al Franken (D-MN) and Rep. Ed Markey (D-MA) have asked Apple CEO Steve Jobs to explain why the company is storing information on its users in a secret file. Apple may have violated Section 222 of the Communications Act, which requires companies to obtain customer consent before location data is used or disclosed for commercial purposes. A recent Nielsen poll finds that US smartphone users are concerned with privacy when it comes to location. For more information, see EPIC: iPhone and Privacy, EPIC: Locational Privacy and EPIC: Consumer Proprietary Network Information.

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