Apple Spells Out Geo-Data Gathering Policies to Lawmakers

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Apple's "Find my iPhone" app is one of the services users share their data with the company for.

After Apple changed its privacy policy to collect geo-data from customers, lawmakers called on Apple to explain exactly how and when it collects that information.

The answer? If you have an iPhone running OS 3.2 or iOS 4, Apple collects location information from you every 12 hours.

The GPS on Apple mobile devices collect data, encrypts it, then sends it back to Apple every 12 hours using wi-fi. The GPS data comes with a random ID number the phone generates once every 24 hours. Individual users cannot be identified. Apple also reminds lawmakers in the letter that customers can always turn off all location-based services. You can read the full 13-page response, here (pdf.)

Apple’s  response was in reply to a June 24 letter to Steve Jobs from Representative Ed Markey from Massachusetts and Congressman Joe Barton from Texas after the change in privacy policy on June 21.

IDG reports that Markey seemed more pleased with Apple’s response than Barton.

“Consumer consent is the key to assessing the adequacy of privacy protections, and Apple’s responses provide examples of how consumers can grant or withhold consent in their usage of Apple products,” he said in a statement.

The Cupertino company begins the privacy section of the letter by stating, “Apple is strongly committed to protecting the privacy of its customers.”

Do you think this is true? Why or why not?

Via PC World