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Verizon to put data collection warning stickers on new phones

By Eric W. Dolan
Tuesday, May 3, 2011 23:08 EDT
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Photo of iPhone by Nick Richards
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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

Eric W. Dolan
Eric W. Dolan
Eric W. Dolan has served as an editor for Raw Story since August 2010, and is based out of Sacramento, California. He grew up in the suburbs of Chicago and received a Bachelor of Science from Bradley University. Eric is also the publisher and editor of PsyPost. You can follow him on Twitter @ewdolan.
 
 
 
 
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