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French, Italian governments follow in probing iOS security

updated 10:50 am EDT, Fri April 22, 2011

Rep. Markey adds to US scrutiny

The French and Italian governments have become involved in examining the location history file found in iOS 4, reports say. The Italian Data Protection Authority has opened a formal investigation into the matter, although Reuters notes that the probe is an expansion of one into how mobile apps deal with personal data. France's CNIL is reportedly verifying the security issue, and says it will send Apple France a letter asking for an explanation next week.

The secretary general of CNIL, Yann Padova, explains that the severity of the situation hinges on whether or not Apple shared location histories with other parties. "In the first case, it is a matter of simply not obtaining the consent of the consumer for the data to be collected," he comments. "In the second case, if the information is marketed without the knowledge of the consumer, it is much more serious."

In the US, meanwhile, Massachusetts congressman Edward Markey has sent a letter to Apple asking why location information is being stored. The company's actions could constitute a violation of the Communications Act, he suggests. The letter is similar to one sent on Wednesday by Minnesota senator Al Franken.

Also participating in informal inquiries is Germany's consumer protection ministry. The institution wants to know "where, for how long, and for what purpose the data is saved, who has access to it, and how it is protecting against unauthorized access," according to a spokesman. The country is known to be strict about privacy violations.

by MacNN Staff



  1. Roehlstation

    Joined: Dec 1969


    When will people understand...

    You do not consent to browser cache capturing your online browsing history, you do not consent to IP logs that are captured on any electronic device connecting to a network. When will folks understand that a computer logs EVERYTHING, most of which is necessary in order for the device to function properly.

    Not playing fanboy here, but all cell phones are able to be tracked in much the same way, in this case it is a file located locally on the device, in order to obtain this information you need physical access to the device or to the computer it syncs to, (Forget about syncing to the cloud because that information is far more secure) once you have the device physically in your possession there is far more I'd be concerned about than this file, like bank account info, contact information, etc.

  1. cmoney

    Joined: Dec 1969


    That's all fine and dandy

    for personal use phones. But corporate issued phones will have the same issue, giving companies the ability to track employees even in their off hours. Are you ok with this too?

  1. wrenchy

    Joined: Dec 1969


    I like

    being tracked. It's not "That Big of a Deal".

  1. Arne_Saknussemm

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Actually, it can be a GOOD thing!

    Well - at least (according to VERY recent history) - phone tracking and calling records has been tremendously helpful in the war against terrorists and unlawful citizens; as stated by Saif al-Islam on several occasions to international news crews.

    Ah, I bet cloud storage can be put to good use as well. Hmmm, let's see surely anyone will be willing to leave personal data unencrypted just to help the "authorities" find out who is "behaving properly" or not, in our modern connected society.

    Beside if you are a "good citizen" you have NOTHING to hide, Right?

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