Schumer Wants Google, Apple Under FTC Scrutiny for User Photo Access

Lora Bentley
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Online Privacy Policies Are Lengthy, Complicated and Reveal Alarming Trends

After we were reminded last month that pictures taken with mobile phones and posted online may pose privacy risks, and now that Google's privacy policy changes have become effective, Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) wants the U.S. Federal Trade Commission to look a little deeper into the privacy practices at Google and Apple around third-party access to user pictures.


The operating systems for iPhones, iPads and Android devices reportedly allow third-party applications to access user photos, according to Computerworld, and Sen. Schumer called the practice "disturbing and potentially unfair." Specifically, he said:

Smartphone developers have an obligation to protect the private content of their users and not allow them to be veritable treasure troves of private, personal information that can then be uploaded and distributed without the consumer's consent.

Moreover, allowing application developers to access photos and other user information without consent could very well violate privacy policies established by both Google and Apple.


Both companies have been subject to so much scrutiny of late that one more inquiry probably won't matter much, but at some point they're going to hit critical mass.

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