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Palm collects GPS location data from Pre users

Written by James Delahunty (Google+) @ 13 Aug 2009 12:31 User comments (1)

Palm collects GPS location data from Pre users Debian-developer Joey Hess posted a blog entry with some worrying details of how Palm Pre communicates with the company. From reading log files Hess found on his Pre, it would appear that the device alerts Palm of where you are (using GPS), what applications you are using and for how long, and when they crash. All of this is done with no notification of such data being sent, and no opt-out method appears to be available.
"I'm shocked that GPS location info is apparently being sent to Palm on a daily basis," Hess told The Register. "It seems both unnecessary and a large privacy risk." The Register went on to contact Palm about the issue and received a statement.

"Our privacy policy is like many policies in the industry and includes very detailed language about potential scenarios in which we might use a customer’s information, all toward a goal of offering a great user experience. For instance, when location based services are used, we collect their information to give them relevant local results in Google Maps. We appreciate the trust that users give us with their information, and have no intention to violate that trust."

However, Palm's privacy policy is not fully clear on why it needs to collect such specific data from users. "As a software engineer," Hess added, "I can understand why Palm's engineers would be interested in the crash data, but the data gathered during a crash includes potentially private information, such as a list of all the programs running on the phone. Also, it is much more respectful of the user to ask before sending such crash data."

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1 user comment

113.8.2009 13:39

google does this aswell when you use any android phone.....

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