Apple responds to US congressmen's query about iOS privacy [telecom]

Apple responds to US congressmen's query about iOS privacy

By Neil Hughes Tuesday, July 20, 2010 Published: 09:55 AM EST

Apple has given a detailed summary its iOS privacy policy to two members of the U.S. House of Representatives who inquired about changes that were implemented in June.

Reps. Joe Barton (R-Texas) and Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) sent a letter to Apple Chief Executive Steve Jobs in June. The congressmen expressed their concerns over Apple's modifications to its iOS privacy policy, and asked for information on exactly what information Apple is gathering on its customers.

Bruce Sewell, general counsel for Apple, responded with a letter dated July 12, which explained the basics of the privacy policy revisions. Last month, the company added a new section to its customer privacy policy entitled "Location-Based Services." Users were required to agree to the new terms and conditions before they could download anything from iTunes or the App Store. Sewell said the company did this to ensure that everyone would see the changes.

The update said Apple and its partners could "collect, use and share precise location data, including real-time geographic location" of a device. The information could be supplied anonymously to help Apple's partners and licensees provide better products and services, but a user's personal information is never shared. Users can opt out of the service by visiting

In the letter, Sewell said Apple keeps location data for six months to improve its iAd network. After that, the information is aggregated.


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