• Wed. Aug 3rd, 2022

Lawmakers want FTC to investigate Apple over mobile tracking

ByCindy J. Daddario

Jun 25, 2022

A report of The Wall Street Journal shows that four Democratic lawmakers want the Federal Trade Commission to investigate Apple and Google for collecting and selling their users’ personal information.

According to the publication, lawmakers wrote in a letter to FTC Chairwoman Lina Kahn that Apple and Google “knowingly facilitated these harmful practices by creating advertising-specific tracking identifiers in their mobile operating systems. “.

That said, The Wall Street Journal also points out that both companies have made improvements to limit the collection of user data. Apple, for example, has taken several different approaches with Sign in with Apple, App Tracking Transparency, and even Privacy Reporting.

But for Senators Elizabeth Warren, Ron Wyden, Cory Booker and Rep. Sara Jacobs, Apple and Google could make it harder to track users by their information online.

“Until recently, however, Apple enabled this tracking ID by default and required consumers to dig into confusing phone settings to disable it. Google still enables this tracking ID by default and until recently did not provide not even give consumers a chance to opt out,” said the letter, which was signed by Sen. Ron Wyden (D., Ore.); Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D., Mass.); Sen. Cory Booker (D ., NJ); and Rep. Sara Jacobs (D., Calif.). “These credentials have fueled the unregulated data broker market by creating a single device-related piece of information that data brokers and their clients can use to link to other consumer data.”

“It is often possible to easily identify a particular consumer in a data set of ‘anonymous’ location records by looking to see where they sleep at night,” they wrote.

The Wall Street Journal says Apple did not provide a statement. The publication also gives context to Khan’s leadership at the Federal Trade Commission, noting that since taking over the FTC a year ago, the agency “has sought to strengthen the rules that govern how businesses digital devices collect user data”.

Apple has been a strong voice on privacy over the past few years, but that doesn’t make the company immune to controversy with claims of monopoly or even not doing enough to ensure data security. users on the web.

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