Over the weekend, Democratic Senator Charles Schumer asked the Federal Trade Commission to investigate reports that applications that run Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android operating system have access to users private contacts and photos stored on the device.
Concerns were initially brought to light when it was discovered that social networking application Path had access to your phone’s entire contact list, which it uses to provide you an easy way to connect with those friends who also have Path installed on their devices. While there was great uproar about the Path incident over the past few weeks, most people understand that many applications on both Android and iOS platforms rely on this information to provide users with the level of service they expect from these applications.
Users of Path want to be able to use the service to connect with people they know, and the issue here likely has more to do with Path not being upfront about this “data stealing” with its users, at least when it comes to iOS devices. Google’s
Android Market Play Store puts the permissions for the application front and center before you choose to accept the permissions and download the application.
At this point, we don’t know what will come out of Mr. Schumer’s request of the FTC for an investigation of Android and iOS policies, but we do know that these companies are well on the right track to making personal data privacy a concern.