Tech giants Google (NASDAQ:GOOGL) and Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) are at the center of an alleged scheme to knowingly enable the collection of personal information from mobile users.
The allegations presented by four Democratic lawmakers claim that the two companies designed advertising-specific tracking identifiers that integrated into their respective mobile operating systems, the the wall street journal announced June 24.
Now lawmakers have written to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to investigate the matter.
According to the letter, the four lawmakers, including Senator Ron Wyden, Senator Elizabeth Warren, Senator Cory Booker and Representative Sara Jacobs, noted that the companies should be investigated for what they called of “transformation of online advertising into an intense system”. monitoring “.
Attempts to improve privacy
Notably, last year Apple released a new directive requiring all apps on iOS to ask users for permission to access their device credentials. However, Google is working to adopt new privacy restrictions to limit tracking apps on Android devices.
“Until recently, however, Apple enabled this tracking ID by default and required consumers to dig into confusing phone settings to disable it. Google still enables this tracking ID by default and until recently did not provide not even give consumers an opt-out option,” the letter read.
Lawmakers have claimed that trackers have driven the growth of the unregulated data brokerage market.
Threat to women seeking abortion
Additionally, the letter pointed out that flaws in the operating system can seriously infringe the privacy of people seeking abortion services.
“Prosecutors in states where abortion becomes illegal will soon be able to obtain warrants for whereabouts information of anyone who has visited an abortion provider,” Wade said.
Wade warns that by using this information, bounty hunters can be tricked into tracking down women who have attempted to access abortion services in their states.
Amid the tracking claims, Apple has previously maintained that it does not profit from user data. According to the company, its app tracking transparency was designed to prevent users from being tracked across the web and not benefit its own business.