Feeds

Senator demands FTC iPhone, Android photo privacy probe

Smartphone sniffer apps snoop

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

The Federal Trade Commission has been urged by a US senator to probe allegations that apps installed on Apple and Google Android mobile handsets slurp users' private photos and contacts without first gaining the consent of the customer.

Reuters reported yesterday that Democrat Charles Schumer had been in touch with the FTC after reading a New York Times report that showed how iPhone apps could gain access to an individual's private photo collection and consequently post them online.

And it turns out Google's Android system can be similarly manipulated.

In a letter to the commission, the lawmaker wrote that he was concerned about such apps having the ability – along with photo-slurping capability – to lift entire address books from devices including Apple's iPad and then copy them over to separate servers.

"These uses go well beyond what a reasonable user understands himself to be consenting to when he allows an app to access data on the phone for purposes of the app's functionality," Schumer said in his missive to the FTC, according to Reuters.

He went on to claim that Apple and Google Android's terms of service had been violated by such usage by apps that slurp personal data from the devices without gaining permission from the punter.

Schumer added that it was unclear "whether or how those terms of service are being enforced and monitored" by Cupertino and Mountain View.

The senator called on smartphone vendors "to put in place safety measures to ensure third party applications are not able to violate a user's personal privacy by stealing photographs or data that the user did not consciously decide to make public".

Apple and Google couldn't immediately be reached for comment at time of writing. ®

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
Bladerunner sequel might actually be good. Harrison Ford is in it
Go ahead, you're all clear, kid... Sorry, wrong film
Euro Parliament VOTES to BREAK UP GOOGLE. Er, OK then
It CANNA do it, captain.They DON'T have the POWER!
Musicians sue UK.gov over 'zero pay' copyright fix
Everyone else in Europe compensates us - why can't you?
I'll be back (and forward): Hollywood's time travel tribulations
Quick, call the Time Cops to sort out this paradox!
Megaupload overlord Kim Dotcom: The US HAS RADICALISED ME!
Now my lawyers have bailed 'cos I'm 'OFFICIALLY' BROKE
Forget Hillary, HP's ex CARLY FIORINA 'wants to be next US Prez'
Former CEO has political ambitions again, according to Washington DC sources
prev story

Whitepapers

Driving business with continuous operational intelligence
Introducing an innovative approach offered by ExtraHop for producing continuous operational intelligence.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
How to determine if cloud backup is right for your servers
Two key factors, technical feasibility and TCO economics, that backup and IT operations managers should consider when assessing cloud backup.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Internet Security Threat Report 2014
An overview and analysis of the year in global threat activity: identify, analyze, and provide commentary on emerging trends in the dynamic threat landscape.