Palm criticised for snooping on users

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Palm criticised for snooping on users

Collects daily location and application use data.

Palm has been criticised for the amount of data it collects about its users’ whereabouts and application use.

Palm Pre user and software developer Joey Hess posted a blog entry showing how the phone supplier monitors where its customers are, which applications they use, for how long, and when they crash.

Palm informs users in its privacy policy that it will collect information relevant to the applications they are using.

Palm also says in its policy that when customers are using location-based services they will collect and maintain location data in order to provide related services.

However, since the blog post has been published commentators have questioned whether Palm needs to collect as much data as it does.

A recent report by the Electronic Frontier Foundation urged policy makers and engineers working with location-based systems to incorporate cryptography technology into their designs in order to protect individuals' privacy.

The EFF argued that "location privacy" – which it defines as an individual's position not being tracked and covertly recorded for later use – has changed significantly in recent years without much legislation to protect the public.

Palm has responded to the blog post in a statement: "Palm takes privacy very seriously, and offers users ways to turn data collecting services on and off."

"Our privacy policy is like many policies in the industry and includes very detailed language about potential scenarios in which we might use a customer's information, all toward a goal of offering a great user experience," it adds.

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