Is this how we’ll have to open apps in the future?
When we broke the news that iOS (and later Android) apps could upload your photo library (along with videos, calendars and even record A/V), we knew some people would be upset:
Congress became involved and probably motivated the move [by Apple to shut down the vulnerability], but the legislative body is not going to like what it hears.
The problem is that iOS apps not only have access to a user’s contacts database (including addresses and notes), but apps also have full and unencumbered access to everything in the iOS app sandbox, such as pictures, music, movies, calendars, and a host of other data. Any of this content is literally open for developers to freely transmit to their own servers while apps are open.
(note that pictures with geotags will pop up a Location dialog which can be averted in code with some well known tricks)
Today, Senator Charles Schumer D-NY urged the FTC to investigate the matter…
In his letter, Schumer (D-NY) asked the FTC “to investigate a disturbing and potentially unfair practice in the smartphone application market,” referring to New York Times reports saying apps on the smartphones can access the data without the owner’s knowledge.
“When someone takes a private photo, on a private cell phone, it should remain just that: private,” Schumer said. “It sends shivers up the spine to think that one’s personal photos, address book, and who-knows-what-else can be obtained and even posted online – without consent.”
Apple and Google didn’t return requests for comment.
- FTC tells EPIC to mind its own business regarding Google’s privacy changes (9to5google.com)
- Lawmakers ask FTC to investigate Google over mobile Safari cookies (9to5google.com)
- Dropbox can now automatically backup your camera roll at the touch of a button (9to5google.com)