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Apple and Google (although primarily Apple) have been roiling developers with anti-tracking policies and initiatives, like the AppTrackingTransparency framework on iOS and the Android Privacy Sandbox.
But that hasn’t kept them out of the regulatory spotlight. Au contraire.
Lawmakers are calling for the Federal Trade Commission to investigate Google and Apple over allegations of mobile tracking.
On Friday, four Democratic senators (Elizabeth Warren, Ron Wyden, Sara Jacobs and Cory Booker) wrote a letter to FTC Commissioner Lina Khan calling the mobile OS duopoly’s respective solutions too little too late, The Wall Street Journal reports.
Mobile identifiers are ostensibly anonymous, but “it’s often possible to easily identify a particular customer in a data set of ‘anonymous’ location records by looking to see where they sleep at night,” the letter reads. Identifiers, even if stripped of personal information, can still be used to identify a particular device and, from there, that device’s owner.
The senators argue this constitutes “unfair and deceptive practices,” the legal cue for the FTC to step up.
The senators also warned of new implications for mobile identifiers now that the Supreme Court has officially overturned Roe v. Wade. “Prosecutors in states where abortion becomes illegal will soon be able to obtain warrants for location information about anyone who has visited an abortion provider,” they wrote.
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