While there's been plenty of concern in the past couple weeks about Apple's iPhone/iPad location data, followed by Google's Android location data, plenty of people pointed out from the beginning that what both companies have done completely pales in comparison to the sort of data that mobile phone operators regularly collect on you. Even as lawsuits have been filed against both Apple and Google, few of the people who are really upset about those two companies seem to recognize that what the operators have is much, much more complete. The mobile operators, apparently fearing that people may start to realize this, have become a bit proactive and are trying to convince everyone that the real problems are elsewhere
-- specifically with apps on phones, not with the service providers. You see, don't worry about all the data we
collect. Just look at what those apps are doing:
AT&T noted it “plays no role” in what kind of information smartphone apps collect, while T-Mobile pointed out the ways in which that data can be used.
Sprint lamented “consumers no longer can look to their trusted carrier with whom they have a trusted relationship to answer all of their questions,” particularly on privacy.
And Verizon Wireless called out smartphone app makers directly on the issue, stressing “location-based applications and services (whether provided by us or third parties such as Google) should give customers clear and transparent notice” and control.
This was in response to questions from Congressional Reps. Ed Markey and Joe Barton, leading all of the operators to also admit that they collect such data as well, but really, apps. Apps are a bigger issue. Just focus on the apps. Really. Apps.