Tech Giants Defend Privacy Practices

Published on May 19, 2011
by Amy Schatz

Google Inc., Apple Inc. and Facebook Inc. defended their privacy practices Thursday to lawmakers considering how to update privacy laws to include more protections for Internet users.

At a Senate hearing on mobile privacy issues, lawmakers grilled technology executives on their policies and how they share consumer information with other companies. The hearing comes amid recent revelations that Apple’s iPhone and Google’s Android phones routinely collect information about the location of consumer cellphones. Apple has since limited the data it collects.

“I know you can shut off your location services but that doesn’t do the trick because we want to use them,” said Sen. John Kerry (D., Mass.), who recently introduced a privacy bill along with Sen. John McCain (R., Ariz.), which would establish consumer online privacy rights. “We still need a privacy standard. We still need basic rules of the road.”

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