Verizon to put data collection warning stickers on new phones
Verizon Wireless announced it will begin putting stickers on its products to warn customers that the phone tracks its owner’s geographical location.
“This device is capable of determining its (and your) physical, geographical location and can associate this location data with other customer information. To limit access to location information by others, refer to the User Guide for Location settings and be cautious when downloading, accessing or using applications and services,” the sticker warns, according to CNN.
The announcement comes after it was revealed that that Apple’s iPhone keeps a record of every place its owner travels that gets downloaded every time the device syncs with a PC or Mac. The record includes latitude, longitude, a time stamp, and the IP address for the wireless network the phone was currently accessing.
Sen. Al Franken (D-MN) and Rep. Ed Markey (D-MA) have sent letters to Apple CEO Steve Jobs demanding to know why Apple’s products are keeping a log of every place the owner goes.
“Apple needs to safeguard the personal location information of its users to ensure that an iPhone doesn’t become an iTrack,” said Rep. Markey. “Collecting, storing and disclosing a consumer’s location for commercial purposes without their express permission is unacceptable and would violate current law.”
In a letter to Markey [PDF], Verizon said protecting its customers’ privacy was one of the company’s highest priorities.
Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons