Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY) is asking the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to investigate both Apple and Google after reports surfaced saying their apps can access private photos and contacts.
The request comes after both Apple and Google recently agreed to make changes to the way they publish the privacy policies of apps in their stores. The ability of apps to plunge the depths of a device’s storage for personal data was also recently publicized when the FTC published a report on childrens online privacy protections, and in an unrelated case, a popular app was found to be storing data from user’s contact books on its own servers.
In the letter to the FTC, Schumer requested that the FTC “investigate a disturbing and potentially unfair practice in the smartphone application market…When someone takes a private photo, on a private cell phone, it should remain just that: private. It sends shivers up the spine to think that one’s personal photos, address book, and who-knows-what-else can be obtained and even posted online – without consent.”
Neither Apple nor Google have responded publically to the letter.