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The iPhone doesn't spy on users, Apple tells U.S. lawmakers

10 August, 2018, 15:29 | Author: Rafael Roberts
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"We hope that the responses below are helpful in understanding these topics and make clear Apple's position that customers are entitled to transparency, choice, and control over their personal information", the letter concludes, while offering to brief lawmakers about the subject.

Apple has responded to questions from the House Energy and Commerce Committee in the USA, stating that iPhones do not listen to users without consent, Reuters reported.

"We believe privacy is a fundamental human right and purposely design our products and services to minimize our collection of customer data", Powderly said.

Citing media reports, the lawmakers raised concerns that smartphones could "in some instances" collect data from nearby conversations, even if the user did not intentionally wake the voice assistants with "Hey Siri" or "OK, Google". It also asked whether the companies collect location information the background when Bluetooth or other technologies capable of tracking a phone's location were turned off.

In a letter to federal lawmakers, the tech giant insisted that iPhones do not listen to what users are saying and said third-party app developers don't have access to audio data.


"Apple's philosophy and approach to customer data differs from many other companies on these important issues", the letter reads. Cook's previous statements and Apple's actions also "raise questions about how Apple device users' data is protected and when it is shared and compiled". Apple in the letter also laid out numerous policies it has shared publicly about its data collection and data use practices, which reflect what consumers see in the privacy policies they're asked to review when they buy an Apple device. Siri utterances are sent to Apple and handled in accordance with Apple's Privacy Policy.

Facebook in 2016 asked the analytics firm to delete the data collected from 50 million profiles, but Facebook never verified the company's response.

Apple's letter also outlined its data policies for a new feature in its iOS 12 operating system, which will automatically share location data with partner firm RapidSOS during emergency calls.

The committee didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.

A spokeswoman for the House Energy and Commerce committee said that "both companies have been cooperative thus far. The Committee looks forward to reviewing and analysing the responses as we consider next steps".

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