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Apple feels heat from Germany for geo-tracking i-customers

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Germany’s justice minister has reportedly demanded that Apple “immediately make clear” what data it grabs up from customers who use the company’s products, and for what purpose.

According to German weekly magazine Der Spiegel, Sabine Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger said: “Users of iPhones and other GPS devices must be aware of what kind of information about them is being collected.”

The minister’s comments followed the recent tweaks Apple made to its privacy policy, which is currently being investigated by US lawmakers.

She added that her office expected Apple to "open its databases to German data protection authorities", as well as make clear what information it was collecting and for how long it was retaining the data.

Concerns have been raised about the policy overhaul that allows the Jobsian outfit and its partners to collect and share “precise location data” of all iTunes and App Store customers.

Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger's fears about Apple’s data collection follow ongoing probes into Google’s own privacy howler, after it coughed to collecting personal data sent by people over Wi-Fi networks via its controversial Street View technology.

Mountain View blamed a rogue engineer for the cock-up, but sadly for Google that hasn’t stopped privacy complaints against the search giant being investigated across the globe. ®

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