The U.S. Senators addressed the letter to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). They aimed to start an investigation of Apple and Google’s unjust and deceitful data privacy methods. Lawmakers also urged that advertising data tracking can threaten confidentiality and security in the USA, especially after the Roe v. Wade verdict.
What is the Point of the Request to FTC?
Democratic legislators, including senators Ron Wyden (D-OR), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), and others, want FTS to control the process of advertising data tracking in Google and Apple. But unfortunately, their policies put their users’ privacy and security at risk. It happened a few hours before the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade case. This action gave a possibility for individual states to deny access to abortion.
In their letter, senators mentioned that enterprises consciously allowed to collect and sell private data of millions of smartphone users. It can have severe consequences after the Supreme Court decision, according to the Roe v. Wade case. Legislators published the letter on the 24th of June, just before the Supreme Court made the final decision.
What was Mentioned in the Letter-Request to FTC?
According to the information in the letter, Apple Inc. and Google LLC were aware of their influence on this practice. As a result, they created the advertisement tracking identifiers in their mobile operating systems. These identifiers pull the prosperity of the data brokers’ market. They connect the single data fragment to a particular device that brokers and their customers can use to get other users’ information.
Although this data is collected anonymously, brokers organized a data selling business that connects advertisement identifiers with the names and addresses of users. But even if not buying this data, it’s easy to identify a particular user in collecting “anonymous” location data. For example, individuals can do it by specifying where a user sleeps at night.
About Apple and Google Policies
Apple and Google allow users to block the tracking feature, but lawmakers found out that until recently, Apple turned on the tracking by default. At the same time, Google still has this feature as the default one and started to allow the regulation of this feature for users.
So, it appears that enterprises didn’t inform users about the potential danger of this feature, as it can directly lead to data exploitation. Apple Inc. and Google LLC allowed governments and individuals to use advertisement tracking systems. This action caused the data disclosure of millions of USA citizens and jeopardized their private life.
About Roe v. Wade Case
The availability of advertisement tracking identifiers became a far more urgent issue after the final decision in the Roe v. Wade case. The decision made abortion immediately illegal in some U.S. states. So, in their request to FTC, senators explained that brokers already are selling the data of users that are patients of abortion practices. Lawmakers also highlighted that individuals can use this information could for aims under the “bounty hunter” legislation concerning individuals who want to have an abortion.
Additional Information about the Request to FTC
In the end, the request to FTC, legislators encouraged Google to stop the private data gathering, especially the location one. They’re afraid that individuals will use it to identify people who do abortions. Society tends to change the approach to healthcare from the murderous one. Nowadays, it is mainly accepted as part of healthcare and a manifestation of the concept that every person can decide on their body on their own. That’s why fighting for this right in every aspect is necessary.
Also, senators are worried that the current Google practice can make gathering and storing large amounts of location data an instrument for far-right extremists’ activity that wants to punish people who care about their reproductive health.
So, in a recent letter to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), legislators urged the organization to investigate the role of Apple and Google in creating the tracking system that encourages the selling of sensitive data.
Follow our news portal to stay up-to-date with the latest news in cybersecurity and HIPAA spheres!