Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Location Data File: Big Enough Concern For Mobile Warriors That Congress Has To Have Hearings? Nope.

Apple, Google, and Microsoft are being asked by to testify in Congress regarding location data.  Grand standing aside, it's not difficult to expect that nothing will come of this.  However, should our lawmakers really want to protect the privacy of ordinary Americans, the scope of the inquiry should be broaden to include the vast amount of data that Internet companies like search engines and advertising companies have amassed over the years.  It should include the same of private information that are transferred to the highest bidders.

And if you guess that is not going to happen, you're right.  And a few weeks later, this will all boil over and it will return to business as usual. 

Suppose in some alternate universe where what I'm proposing does happen, there are a few other companies that have a lot to explain about their privacy violations like Facebook that is always moving the privacy goal lines when they think no one is looking. 

Obviously, we don't' like companies, governments, or anyone else looking over our backs or watching our every move.  Still, of all the companies aske to appear before Congress, only Apple does not sell information it gathers about its iOS-iTunes customers to third parties.

As a matter of fact, Apple's refusal to send publishers information about iPad users was the main obstacle.  That's right, Apple did not want to share user information with 3rd parties. 

As a mobile warrior, I am not that concern about the recent revelations about iOS.  Nor am I concerned about my Android device sending Google location information.  But I am concerned about a company like Facebook selling that information to advertisers. 

Regardless, the information about location data on the iOS devices require some explanation.  I'm not sure it requires the attention of Congress when we're still trying to right our economy, reduce deficit, fight two and a half wars, and get Americans working again.

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