Liz Gannes

Recent Posts by Liz Gannes

Banjo’s Response to Congress on iOS Address Book Privacy (Letter)

After it was discovered that Path and other mobile apps accessed and stored users’ address books without necessarily asking for their permission, the U.S. Congress got involved and asked 34 social iOS app makers to describe their privacy practices.

The deadline to respond to that request — sent by ranking members of the Energy and Commerce Committee — was April 12.

The location app Banjo got in touch with us to share its response. Basically, Banjo is willing to draw attention to itself on this issue because it says it didn’t do anything wrong — it never transmitted or stored users’ contacts, and it is designed around adherence to users’ location data privacy settings on various networks.

Banjo CEO Damien Patton says his app was included in the inquiry only because it had been on the list of social networking apps in Apple’s iPhone Essentials category during the week the congresspeople got interested. Banjo is a location aggregation app with one million users.

I’ll forgive a little privacy grandstanding on Banjo’s part, because I think it’s interesting to see the reply. If others of the 34 apps want to share their responses, I would probably publish them as well.

120412 Banjo Response to Waxman_Butterfield

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Another gadget you don’t really need. Will not work once you get it home. New model out in 4 weeks. Battery life is too short to be of any use.

— From the fact sheet for a fake product entitled Useless Plasticbox 1.2 (an actual empty plastic box) placed in L.A.-area Best Buy stores by an artist called Plastic Jesus