Apple wants iPhone users to know that it is not stalking them.
The company finally broke its silence on the iPhone tracking controversy in an FAQ posted to its Web site, saying it's only trying to get more accurate location information. The fact that Apple has been storing location information on consumer devices--unencrypted and without a customers' permission--has caused an uproar in the privacy community.
In the FAQ, Apple says that it is not tracking users whereabouts. Instead it said it is logging the locations of Wi-Fi hot spots and cell phone towers that are close to the iPhone and is maintaining a database in an attempt to improve location-based services. Apple said that it cannot track individual users with the location information that is sent to the company because it is sent to Apple in an anonymous and encrypted form.
Jobs, Apple execs discuss iPhones and location (Q&A)
Apple advises users how location data can be used
However, a Democratic congressman isn't satisfied with Apple's explanation and wants a federal probe into the Cupertino software marker's privacy practices, CNET has learned. Rep. Jay Inslee of Washington said through a spokesman that a Federal Trade Commission investigation is still needed to "ensure all the questions regarding this issue, including the lack of disclosure, are answered."
Jobs says Apple will testify on location issue
AG wants answers on tracking from Apple, Google
Apple sued over location tracking in iOS
Like Apple and Google, Microsoft collects records of the physical locations of customers who use its mobile operating system.
Windows Phone 7, supported by manufacturers including Dell, HTC, LG, Nokia, and Samsung, transmits to Microsoft a miniature data dump including a unique device ID, details about nearby Wi-Fi networks, and the phone's GPS-derived exact latitude and longitude.
Privacy panic debate: Whose data is it?
More headlinesPlayStation Network customers have been stolen.
Hackers claim to have stolen PSN credit card info
Five questions for Sony about PSN breach
Sony sued for PlayStation Network data breach
Are fraud reports related to Sony breach?
Report: Fox, Paramount holdouts on YouTube rentals
DirecTV working on Netflix-like streaming service?
Dish Network completes acquisition of Blockbuster
Iran targeted in new malware attack
Xbox product lines, reporting net income of $5.23 billion and a 13 percent sales gain.
Apple tops Microsoft's quarterly sales, profits
RIM cuts expectations amid weak BlackBerry sales
How the Wii's successor affects the console business
Study: Electric cars, hybrids too expensive for most
Calif. highways could be source of green energy
Google, DOE building definitive electric-car map