The Wall Street Journal reports on a Congressional hearing that concerned privacy and tech businesses such as Google and Apple, which have recently faced continuing controversy over the security of mobile devices using their technology.
Google Inc., Apple Inc. and Facebook Inc. defended their privacy practices Thursday to lawmakers considering how to update privacy laws to include more protections for Internet users.
At a Senate hearing on mobile privacy issues, lawmakers grilled technology executives on their policies and how they share consumer information with other companies. The hearing comes amid recent revelations that Apple’s iPhone and Google’s Android phones routinely collect information about the location of consumer cellphones. Apple has since limited the data it collects.
“I know you can shut off your location services but that doesn’t do the trick because we want to use them,” said Sen. John Kerry (D., Mass.), who recently introduced a privacy bill along with Sen. John McCain (R., Ariz.), which would establish consumer online privacy rights. “We still need a privacy standard. We still need basic rules of the road.” […]
Technology executives defended their practices, saying their companies have privacy policies and aren’t responsible for the actions of software developers that may not have such policies and don’t face rules on how they can collect or share consumer information. […]
Also at the hearing, the Federal Trade Commission said it is currently juggling several investigations involving privacy issues and mobile phones, including possible violations of children’s privacy laws. David Vladeck, director of the FTC’S consumer protection bureau, said the investigations focus on possible violations of the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act, which restricts information that companies can collect on the online activity of children ages 13 and younger.