May 10, 2011

Alumnus Ashkan Soltani (MIMS 2009) Testifies For Congressional Commitee on Privacy, Technology, and the Law

From New York Times Blogs

Congress Hears From Apple and Google on Privacy

By Tanzina Vega

Saying there has been a fundamental shift for cellphone users in determining “who has their information and what they’re doing with it,” Senator Al Franken, a Minnesota Democrat, called a Congressional hearing today to question executives from both Google and Apple on data location and mobile devices. The hearing was the first for the newly formed Senate Judiciary subcommittee on privacy, technology and the law, led by Senator Franken....

Ashkan Soltani, a security researcher [and 2009 School of Information graduate], called for increased transparency and better definitions of the terms, like what opt-in really means and how third parties are defined. Mr. Soltani also underscored the ambiguity in how companies like Google and Apple define location. Apple has said it does not collect a user’s exact location but instead collects information on nearby cellphone towers and Wi-Fi hot spots.

“In many cases the location that this data refers to is the location of your device or somewhere near it,” Mr. Soltani said, adding that the proximity could sometimes be as close as 100 feet from a user. “I would consider that my location.”...


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October 4, 2016