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Talking Points Memo: Al Franken To Steve Jobs On iPhone Tracking: I Want Answers

Sen. Al Franken (D-MN) wants answers. After reports Wednesday that Apple’s iPhones and iPads secretly store information of the user’s location, Franken wrote Apple CEO Steve Jobs a strongly worded letter.

“The existence of this information — stored in an unencrypted format — raises serious privacy concerns,” Franken wrote.


Sen. Al Franken (D-MN) wants answers. After reports Wednesday that Apple’s iPhones and iPads secretly store information of the user’s location, Franken wrote Apple CEO Steve Jobs a strongly worded letter.

“The existence of this information — stored in an unencrypted format — raises serious privacy concerns,” Franken wrote.

According to O’Reilly Radar, who broke the story, the Apple products log “latitude-longitude coordinates along with a timestamp.” The fact that the data is unencrypted and unprotected, they report, means it could be easily accessed if it lands in the wrong hands. The devices store about a year’s worth of data, the researchers found. Their full report can be found here.

“It is also entirely conceivable that malicious persons may create viruses to access this data from customers’ iPhones, iPads, and desktop and laptop computers. There are numerous ways in which this information could be abused by criminals and bad actors,” Franken wrote.

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