Senator Asks FTC to Look Into Android, Apple Privacy Breaches
U.S. Senator Charles Schumer has asked the Federal Trade Commission to investigate reports that third-party applications running on both the Android and iOS platforms can pilfer smartphone owners' private photos and contacts and post them elsewhere online without the owner's consent. Several reports have surfaced in recent weeks concerning applications that are accessing smartphone contacts and photo albums unbeknownst to owners. "These uses go well beyond what a reasonable user understands himself to be consenting to when he allows an app to access data on the phone for purposes of the app's functionality," said Schumer. "Smartphone makers should be required to put in place safety measures to ensure third party applications are not able to violate a user's personal privacy by stealing photographs or data that the user did not consciously decide to make public." Both Apple and Google have come under fire for the perceived privacy violations.
Apple's Move to iOS App Lands in Play Store
Apple today released an Android application called Move to iOS. The app helps owners of Android handsets migrate to the iPhone.
Google's 'About Me' Page Acts As Privacy Dashboard
Google has made available a new tool online for controlling what personal, work, and other data is shared publicly. Users can view, edit, and assign visibility to their phone numbers, email addresses, social network profiles, as well as basic personal identifiers such as age, gender, and locations.
Apple Steps Up Privacy Protections In iOS 10
Apple said it took steps to improve privacy in iOS 10, which adds a number of tools to help protect end users. With iOS 10, iMessage, FaceTime, and HomeKit will use end-to-end encryption, which makes data unreadable by anyone other than the sender/recipient.
Apple, Google, Others Weigh In On Supreme Court Data Case
Apple and a handful of technology companies are asking the Supreme Court to carefully consider the potential adverse outcomes if law enforcement is given warrantless access to personal information, such as location data. The companies filed a brief with the Supreme Court, which will soon hear a case about how law enforcement gleaned a suspect's location by taking the data from a third party without a warrant.
AT&T Agrees to Pay $25 Million Over Privacy Debacle
AT&T today agreed to pay the FCC a fine of $25 million in order to settle an investigation into consumer privacy violations at its call centers. The data breaches, which took place in early 2014, exposed the personal data of some 280,000 AT&T customers at call centers in Mexico, Colombia, and the Philippines.