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US senator Schumer calls for FTC investigation of Apple, Google


A Reuters report says US Senator Charles Schumer is asking the Federal Trade Commission to investigate Apple and Google over its handling of photos. A recent New York Times report discussed a privacy breach that lets any iOS app with location permission to access a user's photo album. A follow-up report details how Android also lets an app with Internet permission to access the photo gallery on the handset. In both cases, the user is not aware these apps are tapping into their personal images.

Schumer writes in his letter to the FTC, "These uses go well beyond what a reasonable user understands himself to be consenting to when he allows an app to access data on the phone for purposes of the app's functionality." He questions whether Google and Apple are enforcing their terms of service and declares that handset makers have an obligation to protect the private content on their user's phones.

This isn't the first time Schumer has targeted Apple. In 2010, the US Senator sent an open letter to Steve Jobs asking him to address the iPhone 4 antenna issues and provide a free solution that'll fix the problem for customers.

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