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He's always watching: Apple CEO Steve Jobs has implemented a plan that would allow his company to track users and target ads at their mobile devices. Germany isn't happy with that plan or Apple's lack of transparency.  (Source: MHP Books)
Nation demands answers as to what data Apple is collecting

Germany's Justice Minister Sabine Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger in an interview [Google translation] with Der Spiegel said that American electronics maker Apple needs to immediately adopt more transparency .  She stated, "Users of iPhones and other GPS devices must be aware of what kind of information about them is being collected."

She said that Apple must "immediately make clear" what information it plans to collect.  She says that Apple must "open its databases to German data protection authorities" and make it clear how long it intends to keep user data.

The announcement comes in the wake of changes to Apple's privacy policy, which indicate that Apple may be tracking and storing users' locations via GPS.  That could allow the company to better target its ads, leading to more lucrative revenue and new opportunities, but it would also create privacy concerns.

While it's clear that you can opt out of allowing third-party (non-Apple) apps to collect location data, it's unclear if you can completely opt out of Apple's mobile device tracking plan or exactly what that plan is (the legal language merely suggests that Apple has the opportunity to make use of tracking).

Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger says it would be "unthinkable" for Apple to track users' locations or collect info to try to detect their personalities.  She states, "Apple has the obligation to properly implement the transparency so often promised by (CEO) Steve Jobs."

Apple faces government inquiries in the U.S. over privacy and antitrust concerns.

Meanwhile, other companies are struggling with Germany's progressive stance on privacy. Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger has directed recent criticism against the world's largest social network, Facebook.  She firmly disagrees with the site's founder, Mark Zuckerberg, in his belief that users no longer care about privacy.  She recently quit the site over privacy concerns.

Google also recently apologized to Germans for "accidentally" collecting personal data sent by consumers over wireless networks.





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By sprockkets on 6/28/2010 7:05:38 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
While it's clear that you can opt out of allowing third-party (non-Apple) apps to collect location data, it's unclear if you can completely opt out of Apple's mobile device tracking plan or exactly what that plan is (the legal language merely suggests that Apple has the opportunity to make use of tracking).


Here, let me do the work for you:

http://support.apple.com/kb/HT4228

http://oo.apple.com/




RE: .
By eldakka on 6/29/2010 6:05:13 AM , Rating: 3
quote:
if you can completely opt out of Apple's mobile device tracking plan

from
http://support.apple.com/kb/HT4228
quote:
If you do not want to receive ads with this level of relevance on your mobile device


Nowhere does it say it opts you out of the mobile device tracking plan. It merely states it opts you out of receiving targeted ads.


RE: .
By sprockkets on 7/2/2010 9:02:23 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Nowhere does it say it opts you out of the mobile device tracking plan. It merely states it opts you out of receiving targeted ads.


You obviously don't understand; opting out of targeted ads is due to Apple honoring your request to not track your location.


Hole Hotler !
By Landiepete on 6/29/2010 3:07:50 AM , Rating: 2
What bothers me no end is that I simply can't get away from al this stug, even if I want to.
My cliƫnts require me to have a cell phone, so I can be tracked. I MUST agree to all kinds of EULA's, lest I return to using an abacus . If I want an insurance quote, I MUST agree to the company giving it to me using my info for 'internal statistics'. If i want internet access, I MUST agree to the ISP collecting my data for 'security reasons'.
There's simply no way out. It bothers me.




It's gone too far when...
By The0ne on 6/28/10, Rating: -1
RE: It's gone too far when...
By smackababy on 6/28/2010 10:46:37 AM , Rating: 5
God forbid a government looks out for your privacy...


RE: It's gone too far when...
By mackx on 6/28/10, Rating: -1
RE: It's gone too far when...
By reader1 on 6/28/10, Rating: -1
RE: It's gone too far when...
By StevoLincolnite on 6/28/2010 11:23:50 AM , Rating: 5
quote:
but their body's health status will be monitored also.


Like I need for Apple to know if I am sitting on my toilet with diarrhea.
Sheesh, Privacy.


RE: It's gone too far when...
By eldakka on 6/29/2010 6:08:15 AM , Rating: 3
Of course you do! Apple can then target ads for anti-diarrhea medication from the nearest advertiser that sells said medication.


RE: It's gone too far when...
By FaaR on 6/28/2010 2:28:45 PM , Rating: 2
Don't forget your brain waves/thought patterns will be constantly recorded as well.

Better put on your tinfoil hat right away and put a stop to the gov't's dastardly plans!


RE: It's gone too far when...
By SlyNine on 6/29/2010 5:44:03 AM , Rating: 2
I lack the delta brain wav. thus my thowts are inpurvius!

Fry out.


RE: It's gone too far when...
By wiz220 on 6/28/2010 12:01:53 PM , Rating: 5
It's Orwellian for the government to want to protect it's citizens rights? You aren't making a whole lot of sense here. I thought that was one of the primary functions of government along with defense and roads and such.

While Apple's motives are pretty clear (target your for advertising and things like that) the government's motives seem altruistic, like they are doing their job. When it comes to the Nazi and Orwell stuff you're going out on a limb I think.


RE: It's gone too far when...
By Ammohunt on 6/28/2010 5:01:07 PM , Rating: 2
Right same goes for Cigarettes, Trans Fat, cell phone radiation No need to have personal responsibility any longer government version 19.84 is here!


RE: It's gone too far when...
By pwndcake on 6/28/2010 6:58:46 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah, 1984 is here, and Apple is Big Brother.


RE: It's gone too far when...
By ClownPuncher on 6/28/2010 7:01:19 PM , Rating: 2
The Federal Government has nothing to do with those issues. All of it is regulated by local governments, usually cities or counties. Some states are considering bans on the sales of trans-fat, and of course, California already has.


RE: It's gone too far when...
By Ammohunt on 6/29/2010 2:21:18 PM , Rating: 2
Do you know what BATF stands for? and who they work for? man the education system of today really sucks ass!


RE: It's gone too far when...
By ClownPuncher on 6/29/2010 2:52:10 PM , Rating: 2
Right, my education is in question...

BATF is there to make sure nobody is illegally trafficking firearms, tobacco, and alcohol - especially across state lines. They regulate and distribute FFL's for retailers, and make sure interstate sales are done according to state/federal law. They do not impose smoking laws, alcohol laws, nor do they have anything to do with the taxation of those items.

So, what is your point now? Is it that, in the English language, you cannot start a sentence with the word "and"? Perhaps that you cannot start a sentence in lower case? I'm starting to agree with you that today's education standards seem to have fallen.


RE: It's gone too far when...
By aegisofrime on 6/28/2010 11:03:59 PM , Rating: 2
Agree, people should not forget that it's their responsibility to elect a government who looks out for them. If they elect the wrong people or don't even bother to vote, then it's their own damn fault.


RE: It's gone too far when...
By AstroGuardian on 6/28/2010 5:42:09 PM , Rating: 1
You are one phucking retarded idiot you know that?


RE: It's gone too far when...
By Fleeb on 6/28/2010 11:34:25 AM , Rating: 2
Actually they have this law in German regarding privacy which roots back to WWII and they are like paranoid with it. I personally know and I find it hard to work with Germans especially with regards to this law.


RE: It's gone too far when...
By kmmatney on 6/28/2010 1:17:27 PM , Rating: 2
I can attest to that!! I have a co-worker who was born and raised in Germany, but has been living in the U.S. for 15 years. He doesn't have a wireless router at his house, as he's paranoid about security. His brother still lives in Germany and is even more paranoid.


RE: It's gone too far when...
By The0ne on 6/28/2010 1:19:59 PM , Rating: 1
And yet I think people didn't catch my sarcasm at all ahhahaa it's no wonder there are so many buyers of Apple.


RE: It's gone too far when...
By tim851 on 6/28/2010 3:01:02 PM , Rating: 3
There is no one law regarding privacy.

There is article 2 of the German basic law that denotes Personality Rights on the basis of which the Constitutional Court (German Supreme Court) formulated the idea of "informational self-determination".

The base line is that every citizen has the right to determine which of their personal data is processed by whom and for what purpose.

I don't know how you could possibly have difficulties with that, apart from you being a data-miner, in which case yeah, this concept is exactly to ward off people like you.

And I don't believe Germans are any more or less paranoid about their privacy than Americans. If you don't care which corporation knows what about you and what they do with that information that is your choice, but you don't speak for everybody!


RE: It's gone too far when...
By Aloonatic on 6/28/2010 10:52:41 AM , Rating: 4
Well, from what I can tell, most (not necessarily you OP) iPhone users don't want to think and are happy to go along with whatever Apple some up/out with, as long as "it just works". So maybe it'd be a good thing that governments are at least looking into all this.

If there's ever been a group of consumers that need to be saved from themselves, it would appear that some of the more fervored "Appleites" are.


RE: It's gone too far when...
By cknobman on 6/28/2010 11:23:05 AM , Rating: 2
From the gospel of reverend Jobs himself:

"Just don't hold it that way."


RE: It's gone too far when...
By Motoman on 6/28/2010 11:39:31 AM , Rating: 5
quote:
as long as "it just works"


Actually, the product working or not isn't that important to Apple consumers either. Hence, the fact that they keep buying the crap.


By damianrobertjones on 6/28/2010 10:53:51 AM , Rating: 2
MOST users don't even know that these options exist or what is going to happen etc.

Maybe stop thinking 'you' and think standard person who wants something due to it being shiny.

Opt in, get tracked. Opt out, no download from iTunes. Quite a bad move if you ask me.


RE: It's gone too far when...
By Divide Overflow on 6/28/2010 11:30:31 AM , Rating: 3
Most iPhone users are sheep who will blindly follow Apple's lead. It's good to hear that there are some sensible groups out there who are willing to question the almighty Steve Jobs.


RE: It's gone too far when...
By xler8r on 6/28/10, Rating: 0
RE: It's gone too far when...
By marvdmartian on 6/28/2010 4:12:52 PM , Rating: 2
Yes, good luck to the German government, going up against the Dark Lord of the Fruit!! **SHOCK**


Delusion in media.
By Unfixedyouth on 6/28/10, Rating: -1
RE: Delusion in media.
By Spivonious on 6/28/2010 11:55:52 AM , Rating: 2
It's not the storing of information that people worry about. Apple is actively tracking your position with the GPS feature, and this feature cannot be disabled.

And FYI, I don't use Google nor own a smart phone.


RE: Delusion in media.
By Uncle on 6/28/2010 1:11:17 PM , Rating: 1
All phones have a built in gps,its some number that distinguishes you from the next phone.Kind of like your IP address when connected to the internet. The only way to shut it down is by pulling the battery out. I don't use a cell phone, so on this one I have to say don't single out apple. Its also another way for law enforcement to find you if they absolutely have to.


RE: Delusion in media.
By futrtrubl on 6/28/2010 5:58:13 PM , Rating: 2
Wow, you really have NO idea what GPS is do you?
GPS is not a number. GPS is a system that is only in select phones, those phones being the ones that say they have GPS. On any phone other than iPhones after the privacy agreement update you can turn it off without shutting the phone off (which is what this article is about!)
Of course cell phones have unique IDs otherwise how would the system know where to send the call, but this has nothing to do with GPS.
Read http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mobile_phone_tracking for more information.

Wow


RE: Delusion in media.
By Unfixedyouth on 6/28/10, Rating: 0
RE: Delusion in media.
By Spivonious on 6/28/2010 2:21:40 PM , Rating: 2
You must be new here if you think that I can vote you down and still reply. Replying removes any ratings you've made.

So I can't comment on things that I don't have direct experience with? What world do you live in?


RE: Delusion in media.
By kmmatney on 6/28/2010 1:34:02 PM , Rating: 2
Yes, you can disable it - please do not spread the myth that you cannot. It is right there in "Settings | General | Location Services". You can turn it on or off.

However this will make your map feature not work, so you have to turn it back on to use the map, and then turn it back off again, if you only want location services for the map. There are also many apps that use the GPS feature, such as Zillow, Motion-X (I use to track my mileage while jogging or cycling), realtor.com, etc...I find that I use too many apps that rely on GPS, so I leave the service turned on.

You can also choose to allow individual apps to access location services, many Apps don't save this setting, and ask for your permission every time. Shazam is an example - a bit annoying.

The Android privacy statement is also pretty vague, and they have the similar features. They can be turned off, but need to be turned on to use certain features of the phone.


RE: Delusion in media.
By ghost101 on 6/28/2010 2:42:18 PM , Rating: 2
In addition, any application from google marketplace which uses the location services has warnings when installing. In fact it wanrs you about every feature it potentially uses, so things like address book, bookmarks, call state etc. etc.


RE: Delusion in media.
By tim851 on 6/28/2010 3:04:33 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
Apple has just decided to say, we're doing this, and we're letting you know up front, rather than hide it from you.


Well, they said that they're doing SOMETHING. They don't say what it is exactly and how they're going to use it.

Which is all that this inquiry by the German government is all about.


RE: Delusion in media.
By JKflipflop98 on 6/29/10, Rating: -1
"A lot of people pay zero for the cellphone ... That's what it's worth." -- Apple Chief Operating Officer Timothy Cook













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