Sen. Al Franken (D-MN) wants answers. Security researchers Wednesday revealed the existence of a file on iPhones and on their computer backups that logs detailed cell phone triangulation data — and has ever since iOS 4 was released last summer. The information is stored unencrypted by default, and is simple to access. That announcement led Franken to fire off a two-page letter (PDF), asking nine pointed questions of Apple CEO Steve Jobs.

Franken first outlines scenarios in which the release of this data could pose a problem. “Anyone who gains access to this single file could likely determine the location of the user’s home, the businesses he frequents, the doctors he visits, the schools his children attend, and the trips he has taken over the past months or even a year,” he writes. Which raises the obvious question: how would an attacker get access to the data?

1. Why does Apple collect and compile this location data? Why did Apple choose to initiate tracking this data in its iOS 4 operating system?
2. Does Apple collect and compile this location data for laptops?
3. How is this data generated? (GPS, cell tower triangulation, Wi-Fi triangulation, etc.)
4. How frequently is a user’s location recorded? What triggers the creation of a record of someone’s location?
5. How precise is this location data? Can it track the users location to 50 m, 100 m, etc.?
6. Why is this data not encrypted? What steps will Apple take to encrypt the data?
7. Why were Apple consumers never affirmatively informed of the collection and retention of their location data in this manner? Why did Apple not seek affirmative consent before doing so?
8. Does Apple believe that this conduct is permissible under the terms of its privacy policy?
9. To whom, if anyone, including Apple, has this data been disclosed? When and why were these disclosures made?

I like Al Franken. As for Apple and today’s rating as least environmentally friendly status, wait, that can’t be true, since Al Gore is on Apple’s Board of Directors. So why do Liberals love this company so much?

  1. Pkpost says:

    Liberals love Apple because Apple treats it’s customers the way liberals think government should treat it’s citizens.

    – Apple is extremely secretive.

    – Apple does not ask their consumers what they want – they tell the consumers what they will want.

    – Apple limits the freedom of their users by prohibiting the customization of their products to suite their needs.

    – Apple heavily relies on the court system to challenge other companies it sees as a threat to their power.

    – The late Steve Jobs (may his soul rest in peace) was dictatorial in his management style.

    More than anything it has to do with how people define freedom. Liberals see government as a vessel through which individuality can be relinquished in exchange for an existence through which they are freed from the burden of being responsible for providing many of the basics in life (Food, shelter, medical care) for themselves. Apple is seen as a company that will provide a wonderful product/service in exchange for giving up the freedom to tailor it to any specific need you might have. They see Apple as a company that is taking care of them, that is looking after them…that they(Appl) know what’s best for them(the customers). The only difference is that Apple is a company wholly bound by the capitalistic market forces that allows them to be successful, whereas liberals are promoting a government that seeks to ultimately make the success Apple has enjoyed next to impossible.


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