A group of U.S. Senators have introduced a new bill that will allow cellphone owners to legally unlock their devices again after their contract has expired.
Called the Unlocking Consumer Choice and Wireless Competition Act, and backed by Al Franken and members of the Senate Judiciary Committee, the bill would reverse a Library of Congress ruling from October 2012 that deemed cellphone unlocking illegal unless the process was performed by a carrier.
Wow! 2011 has been one of the most interesting years in recent memory for Apple Inc. Of course the death of Apple’s co-founder, Steve Jobs, stands out as one of the most important events of the year for Apple, but there have been a load of other stories too that have made 2011 a very memorable year for the fruit company. From one controversy to the next, to record-breaking earnings, and new products, Apple has plowed through 2011 with a steady determination to be the best technology company on the planet. Only one device underwent a redesign (the iPad), while other form factors stayed the same. Instead of focusing on making pivotal leaps forward with hardware, Apple’s main focus of 2011 was to fortify their strong foundation in the software game.
Here’s Cult of Mac’s look back on the Apple in the year 2011.
With the recent controversy surrounding Carrier IQ, U.S. Senator Al Franken has jumped back into the fight for privacy and sent an open letter yesterday to Carrier IQ asking the company to answer a number of questions concerning the company’s key-logger and data logging software. Senator Franken’s letter contains 11 pointed questions mostly asking why the company logs information, what type of information they’re tracking, who receives the information, and how is it used?
Carrier IQ’s software is currently running on millions of smartphones in the U.S. Apple released a statement on Thursday promising to eradicate all traces of Carrier IQ’s software with a new software update. Android manufacturer HTC released a statement today blaming carriers for the inclusion of CarrierIQ on their phones. Samsung also released a similar statement.
Carrier IQ’s not having a good day. The invasive keylogging software which comes installed on over 140 million Android, Nokia and Blackberry smartphones is embroiled in controversy, and it’s not just creepy… it’s probably illegal, and Senator Al Franken — who once grilled Apple over the so-called LocationGate — is now demanding answers.
As promised, Apple sent V.P. Guy Tribble to Washington to address Senator Al Franken and other stuffy politicians about the so-called LocationGate scandal.
Cupertino’s message? Same as it ever was: we don’t track user locations. Period.
“We do not share customer information with third parties without our customers’ explicit consent. Apple does not track users’ locations. Apple has never done so and has no plans to do so,” said Tribble.
Curiously, while Apple may not track users’ locations, the United States Department of Justice would like mobile providers to start, allowing the Department of Justice to attain records that would “enable law enforcement to identify a suspect’s smartphone based on the IP addresses collected by Web sites that the suspect visited.”
What’s good for the goose isn’t necessarily what’s good for the gander. Apparently, it’s only okay for the government to keep track of what you do with your smartphone, not Apple.