Apple: We’re Going to Finally Start Protecting Your Privacy Now
About a week ago news came out that Apple had a flaw in their iOS system that allowed app developers unfettered access to your phone book. Developers could transmit the contents of your phone book to their servers if they so chose to do so. In a letter from House Energy & Commerce Committee Chairman Henry Waxman and Commerce Manufacturing and Trade Subcommittee Chair G.K. Butterfield to Apple CEO Tim Cook, concerns were addressed over the handling of applications with address book access. The letter states “One blogger claims to have conducted a survey of developers of popular iOS apps and found that 13 of 15 had a “contacts database with millions of records” — with one claiming to have a database containing “Mark Zuckerberg’s cell phone number, Larry Ellison’s home phone number and Bill Gates’ cell phone number.” All of this begs the question, why didn’t Apple have basic safeguards against this sort of thing set up to begin with? An Apple spokesman said “Apps that collect or transmit a user’s contact data without their prior permission are in violation of our guidelines”. My response to that is, NO KIDDING?! Obviously they’d be in violation, but the real question is why were they able to do it in the first place? Apple has failed at a very basic fundamental of this industry…PROTECT PEOPLE’S INFORMATION. Apple didn’t get hacked, there was no break in, Apple simply left the door open and allowed anybody to walk through it as they pleased. Apple states “we’re working to make this even better for our customers, and as we have done with location services, any app wishing to access contact data will require explicit user approval in a future software release.” Well now doesn’t that make us all feel so much better…Apple is finally going to get around to protecting my privacy. Well isn’t that nice. Better ridiculously late than never I suppose.