Apple cuts back iPhone tracking after Al Franken bites


Sen. Al Franken appears to have taken a bite out of Apple.

Stung by bad PR, angry customers, and the promise of Senate hearings chaired by Franken, the computer maker says it has released an update to iPhones to cut back on the amount of time the device's software stores data about a user's whereabouts--from a year to a week.

That's a good start. Now we're waiting to hear whether Apple will encrypt the data. Part of the outcry from consumers--amplified by Franken's headline-grabbing criticism of Jobs--was that if strangers got hold of someone else's iPhone, they could very easily map that user's travel patterns. What if that user is a kid? What if that user gets out of work late every night on a deserted backstreet?

Apple CEO Steve Jobs has called the data storage issue a bug, and the firestorm of criticism unfair. And he's hinted that he'll appear before Franken's technology and privacy committee to talk about the tracking software.


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