Consumer

Lawmakers Mull Action To Stop ‘Criminal’ Phone Location Tracking

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(credit: Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images)

(credit: Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images)

LOS ANGELES (CBS) — The world’s biggest names in technology faced a grilling from lawmakers on Capitol Hill over potential privacy violations on Tuesday, just weeks after it was revealed that smart phones and tablets can track and store users’ location information.

Representatives from firms like Apple and Google testified before the Senate Judiciary subcommittee tapped to look into what’s being called “Locationgate”.

CBS News Correspondent Bob Fuss told KNX 1070 the key for lawmakers is finding a balance between a growing number of popular and useful apps with the threat to personal privacy.

“There’s a whole sort of criminal side to this, not only in terms of hackers, but for instance, there’s been a lot of cases of stalkers and people who are attacking other people using these devices,” Fuss said.

Fuss said lawmakers are looking into other measures the government can implement, including tighter regulatory standards.

“The identity theft problem is huge,” said Fuss. “One of the other things that is being looked at is whether there’s some new laws needed to try to get to the bottom of this and to try to stop it.”

A recent Wall Street Journal investigation of more than 100 apps found 47 of them transmitted their users information — some of them without the users’ consent.

Apple has offered a software update to fix a bug that retained data for more than a year, instead of the few days pledged to users.

Google has admitted its Android devices collect location data, but only with users consent. The company also says any location data that is sent back to Google is not tied, or traceable to a specific user.

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