Print 41 comment(s) - last by sprockkets.. on Jul 2 at 9:02 PM

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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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
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!

"It looks like the iPhone 4 might be their Vista, and I'm okay with that." -- Microsoft COO Kevin Turner

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