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Officials say Google, Apple sending mixed signals on tracking

Grant Gross, IDG News Service | May 10, 2011
Senators question Google and Apple about location tracking on their smartphones.

But Congress should be careful about creating new restrictions, particularly for small application developers who are enjoying a renaissance because of smartphones, said Jonathan Zuck, president of the Association for Competitive Technology, a trade group representing many small and midsized IT firms.

Lawmakers should look at privacy in a holistic manner and not target smartphone developers, 85% of which are small businesses, Zuck said. Small developers need to share information with third parties to support their business models, he said.

"To focus on a particular type of data collection in a particularly new market would necessarily discriminate against the small businesses that are responsible for so much economic growth in the mobile sector, leaving larger players untouched," Zuck added.

U.S. residents seem to be more concerned about the multiple major data breaches at large companies than about mobile apps collecting some location data, Zuck added. Recent data breaches at Sony, Epsilon and other companies are "really causing the concern and fear among customers, not the prospect of getting one more customized ad to their phone," he said.

 

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