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US gov tells Apple chief Tim Cook: Send us a minion to grill

'Thanks for coming Mr Appler. No, don't sit down'

Mobile application security vulnerability report

The US Congress has asked Apple to send a representative to Washington to face a grilling over iPhone privacy, after Cupertino's initial response to questioning was unsatisfactory and late.

In addition, the furore over apps slurping photos from iPhones that broke at the end of February, has prompted a second set of questions about iOS privacy from Congress.

The request from Congress dated March 14th and addressed to Tim Cook, asks for Apple reps to be made available to brief members of Congress about how Apple's app developer policies and practices protect user information.

Congress's first inquiry into Apple's privacy policies came after it was revealed that apps such as Path were copying and storing the address books and contact lists of all their users. One developer claimed to a have an address book database that included Bill Gates' cell phone number. The Congressional letter laid out nine questions on the topic regarding what Apple considered to be "personal data".

Apple's reply was late (Congress asked for a response by the 29th February, Apple replied on the 2nd March) and didn't answer certain questions:

The March 2 reply we received from Apple does not answer a number of the questions we raised about the company' s efforts to protect the privacy and security of its mobile device users.

The response is not surprising given Apple's usual approach to outside questioning, but this is the US government: not the media or somebody. The date for the presentation has not yet been set. The letter is signed by legislators Henry Waxman and G K Butterfield. ®

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