Congress Demands Answers from Apple, Google About Tracking User Behavior Congress Demands Answers from Apple, Google About Tracking User Behavior – NTK Network

Congress Demands Answers from Apple, Google About Tracking User Behavior

Top House Republicans sent a letter to the massive tech companies requesting information about users’ privacy.

By NTK Staff | 07.10.2018 @2:00pm
Congress Demands Answers from Apple, Google About Tracking User Behavior

Apple CEO Tim Cook and Alphabet CEO Larry Page received a letter from Congress this week demanding answers about how their companies handle user privacy issues like location tracking and phone call recordings.

Lawmakers want to know more about the “underlying, everyday practices of technology companies [that] may infringe on Americans’ privacy.”

The letters ask Larry Page — the chief executive of Google’s parent company Alphabet — and Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO, for more specific information on how their phones collect location information at times when many people may not expect. This includes when devices are in “airplane mode” or have removed the SIM card — the small chip in cellphones that tie a phone to a particular person’s plan.

Members of Congress also asked for more information on what audio data may be collected by smartphone voice assistants, even when they have not been “triggered” with a phrase such as “Hey Siri” or “Ok Google.”

Cook has taken great pains to demonstrate that Apple is different from the rest of the tech companies because they don’t trade user information to advertisers. But that also turned out not to be true. A Bloomberg report from June revealed that Apple allowed its app developers access to users’ iPhone contacts lists, if granted access.

In addition, Apple admitted that Siri, its personal assistant app, must be “listening constantly for their trigger words to function properly,” according to the Washington Post.

The allegations against Apple run counter to Cook’s claims about the company’s sole focus on valuing users’ experiences. Late last year, the company admitted to slowing iPhones to save battery life in older phones and using slower modem chips to cut costs.

Cook is currently attending the “summer camp for billionaires” at Idaho’s Sun Valley resort for Allen & Co.’s annual conference.

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