Lawmakers call on FTC to investigate Apple and Google for selling users’ information

According to a report by the Wall Street Journal this week, a group of four Democrat lawmakers have asked the Federal Trade Commission to investigate both Apple and Google for collecting and selling user information.

Senators Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Cory Booker (D-NJ), Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Rep. Sara Jacobs (D-CA) wrote a letter to FTC chair Lina Kahn asking the agency to look into the companies’ practice of selling and sharing personal user information for profit.

The letter reads, “Until recently … Apple enabled this tracking ID by default and required consumers to dig through confusing phone settings to turn it off. Google still enables this tracking identifier by default, and until recently did not even provide consumers with an opt-out. These identifiers have fueled the unregulated data broker market by creating a single piece of information linked to a device that data brokers and their customers can use to link to other data about consumers.”

The letter adds, “It is often possible to easily identify a particular consumer in a dataset of ‘anonymous’ location records by looking to see where they sleep at night.”

The lawmakers reiterated the urgency of their call to investigate data sharing practices this week after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v Wade, triggering new restrictions on abortion in conservative states across the country. The lawmakers are concerned that without proper oversight this information could be used to prosecute those seeking abortions.




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