Friday, April 22, 2011
Hue and Cry over Apple Privacy Flaw good for the Industry
Capitol Hill lawmakers are demanding answers from Apple CEO Steve Jobs about an iPhone feature that silently tracks its users' whereabouts and shares this location file with desktops it sync's to for itunes and other media. Concerns were raised on the safety of children whose movement could be tracked by a person with access to this data, on individual privacy and the commercial benefit Apple receives from this feature. While the feature in itself may not be widely exploitable as it requires access to the iPhone or the “synced” desktop, it denotes security and privacy requirements are not fully understood. In all probability this functionality was built by a development team not conversant with or undervaluing the importance of consumer privacy.
What pleases me is the loud hue and cry by consumers and the US governments will ensure product companies develop better software. My main concern is that while consumer sectors are instantaneously pressurized there is no loud outcry when breaches take place in core sectors like power, oil, gas, and in government.
I would be interesting to see how this episode affects share prices and sales.