updated 12:00 pm EDT, Fri May 6, 2011
Companies called to defend tracking practices
US Senator Al Franken has named the Apple and Google witnesses who will be appearing at a judiciary subcommittee on mobile privacy. Speaking on behalf of Apple will be Guy L. "Bud" Tribble, a VP of software technology. Google's representative will be Alan Davidson, a director of public policy for the Americas. The subcommittee will convene at 10AM on May 10th, according to Sen. Franken's office.
Other people set to appear include deputies from the FTC and the US Department of Justice, a consultant named Ashkan Soltani, and heads from the industry group Association for Competitive Technology and the pro-privacy Center for Democracy and Technology. Aside from location tracking on iOS and Android devices, the hearing will address privacy issues with tablets and cellphones in general.
Apple may have an easier time than Google under scrutiny. While Google has simply tried to defend its policies, Apple has set forth specific plans to improve privacy. The first step was releasing iOS 4.3.3/4.2.8, which better manages the location data stored by iOS and deletes it entirely when Location Services are turned off.