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Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan
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April 25, 2011

ATTORNEY GENERAL MADIGAN CALLS ON APPLE, GOOGLE TO ADDRESS MOBILE DEVICE PRIVACY CONCERNS

Chicago — Attorney General Lisa Madigan today called for a meeting with Apple Inc. and Google executives in the wake of reports that iPhones, iPads and Google Android devices are collecting and storing detailed information about users’ locations.

Madigan sent a letter to both technology manufacturers in response to press reports that Apple and Google mobile devices store user location information that can be transmitted back to the companies. The information – latitude and longitude coordinates coupled with a timestamp – is reportedly unencrypted and unprotected. The Attorney General has asked the companies to detail what information the company is storing, for how long and what it is used for.

“I want to know whether consumers have been informed of what is being tracked and stored by Apple and Google and whether those tracking and storage features can be disabled,” Attorney General Madigan said. “It’s important that these companies ensure that their users’ private information is protected.”

The Attorney General’s letter is part of her ongoing effort to protect consumers’ personal information online. Madigan and her counterparts in states around the country launched an investigation last year into Google’s collection of data over wireless networks for its Street View mapping feature. In addition to featuring photographs of neighborhoods nationwide, Street View captured data being transmitted over public networks, including user emails, passwords and web surfing activity.

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