Senate Calls Apple to Second Privacy Hearing

Legal ScalesApple, Google and now Facebook have been called to Washington DC for a second Senate hearing on consumer mobile privacy on Thursday, May 19. Senate Subcommittee on Consumer Protection, Product Safety, and Insurance chairman Jay Rockefeller will chair the hearing, and Apple’s vice president of world affairs, Catherine Novelli is scheduled to testify.

Google director of public policy for the Americas Alan Davidson is also scheduled to testify, along with Bret Taylor, Facebook’s chief technology officer. The hearing is expected to focus on privacy for mobile device users along with location tracking and data gathering practices, much like the hearing Apple and Google testified at on May 10.

The hearings follow reports that Apple and Google have been building location databases for users on their smartphones. In Apple’s case, the database was also copied to user’s computers during the sync process as an unencrypted file.

Apple said the database wasn’t tracking users, but instead was a list of cell towers and Wi-Fi hotspots pushed to customer’s iPhones to improve Location Services performance. The company also released an iOS update that removed the database backup from computers, and reduced the amount of location data stored on devices.

Senator Rcokefeller’s hearing is scheduled to start at 10AM eastern time in the Russell Senate Office Building.

[Thanks to CNET for the heads up.]