Palm appreciates the fact that Pre users allow their privacy to be violated. That's essentially what Palm said it when the Los Anegeles Times found out about this.
Through the GPS, Palm is tracking where its users are and what apps they're using. So, I wonder if Sprint is even aware of this at all? Palm's answer to this was "We appreciate the trust that users give us with their information, and have no intention to violate that trust."
Seriously, they think it's okay to do this without their users knowing about it. Anyway, a programmer interviewed by the LA Times found a way to disable to feature which I'm sure Palm can just turn it back on after the next system update.
But what the hell is Palm thinking?! Anyway, this is a great violation and I hope Pre users are pissed off about this. Palm should have mentioned this from the start and if Sprint is in on this, it can kiss its effort to stay relevant in the wireless world good-bye.
Jim Goldman of CNBC offered Palm a solution: give users the option to turn off the Palm's peeping feature.
At the end of Goldman's piece, he wanted to know if Palm was being a helper or big brother. Dude, you even have to ask? If it was helping, it would have said something about it. And Palm knew this would not have gone down well with Pre users so it specifically failed to inform users.
Now, I wonder if Apple and Google does the same thing as well.
UPDATE: PalmInfoCenter (great site, I've used this since the Palm PDA days) note that turning this off is difficult but the programmer, Joey Hess, who discovered this criminal scheme, is working on it. Plus, PIC noted that user data base is back-uped to a Palm server is a normal operation that can be turned off through the Backup application.
So, Palm obviously knew what they're doing here is wrong with the police-state like GPS tracking. Plus, Palm reserve the rights to share information it collects. Read their terms and conditions.