Apple Responds To Privacy Policy Changes Query

Frequent readers will recall that Apple changed their privacy policy and that made me want to avoid buying an iPhone. You’ll also recall that Apple was asked to explain this change by the United States Congress. Apple responded to this request on July 12th, but it was only made public today. Here’s some highlight from the response:

  • If you don’t like to share your location data, you can turn it off.
  • You can also say that you do not agree to the new privacy policy. But you will not be able to set up an iTunes Store account. However you can still activate and access any Apple device.
  • Nothing that Apple collects can be tied to a specific user.
  • Any GPS co-ordinates are converted to a zip code upon collection and is not tied to a specific device or user.
  • Apple does keep data for six months “to administer and improve the iAd network.” After six months the company aggregates the info “for administrative purposes.”

Rep. Edward J. Markey who was one of two politicians to call Apple on the carpet had this to say:

“As more Americans rely on location-based services as part of their everyday lives, it is imperative that consumers have control over how their personal information is used, transmitted, and stored. Apple’s responses provided additional information about how it uses location data and the ability of consumers to exercise control over a variety of features on Apple’s products, and I appreciate the company’s response,”

But he also said this:

I will continue to closely monitor this issue to ensure that consumers are empowered to keep their personal information private, if they choose, while still enjoying the benefits that accompany continuously evolving technological innovations.”

Good for him. The danger with collection of this sort of data is that some company like Apple will misuse this data, so we need people in power to keep companies like Apple honest. I do have a question, what would happen if Apple didn’t provide a decent response?

Anyone care to answer that for me?

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