It looks like Google and Apple will finally be able to air out the dirty location tracking laundry – in the US Senate.
Senator Al Franken (D-MN), who last week wrote a letter to Steve Jobs regarding privacy, has asked both companies to attend a hearing with the Judiciary Subcommittee on Privacy, Technology and the Law on May 10 in Washington. Also in attendance will be witnesses from the US Department of Justice, Federal Trade Commission, Center for Democracy and Technology, and others.
“Recent advances in mobile technology have allowed Americans to stay connected like never before and put an astonishing number of resources at our fingertips,” Franken said in a statement. “But the same technology that has given us smartphones, tablets, and cell phones has also allowed these devices to gather extremely sensitive information about users, including detailed records of their daily movements and location. This hearing is the first step in making certain that federal laws protecting consumers’ privacy—particularly when it comes to mobile devices—keep pace with advances in technology.”
This will give the companies an opportunity to come clean on their aims with location tracking and user privacy in general.
I completely agree with Jacqui Cheng from Ars:
It’s in both of the companies’ better interest to attend, though, lest they want the DoJ, FTC, CDT, and others to begin making plans for possible legislation without them.
[via Ars Technica]