Apple says it doesn’t listen in on consumers, despite concerns

Lawmakers get Apple to reveal how often its store rejects apps

Lawmakers get Apple to reveal how often its store rejects apps

They also sought information about any limits Apple and Google place on developers in collecting data from users' devices.

"We believe privacy is a fundamental human right and purposely design our products and services to minimize our collection of customer data", Apple executive Timothy Powderly wrote in a letter to Rep.

Furthermore, Apple addressed customer data usage as well, saying that it "does not and can not monitor what developers do with the customer data they have collected, or prevent the onward transfer of that data, nor do we have the ability to ensure a developer's compliance with their own privacy policies or local law".

A man holds an Apple iPhone as he walks on a street in NY, U.S., August 1, 2018. Grassley's committee had held hearings in April on "Facebook, Social Media Privacy, and the Use and Abuse of Data". The letter was written in response to a missive that the congressman had sent to Tim Cook last month. "Unlike other companies, Apple does not obtain a historical record of location data associated with a customer's name or AppleID for any of our services", he writes. Apple's Siri is also found on the HomePod.

Back during the early days of the Facebook-Cambridge Analytica scandal, many eyes turned to Apple.

The letter comes in response to an inquiry from Representatives Greg Walden, Marsha Blackburn, Gregg Harper and Robert Latta.

But consumers should remain concerned about the amount of personal information companies and third parties collect about them in general, according to experts. A USA federal probe is underway, with the FBI, the Justice Department, the Federal Trade Commission, and the Securities and Exchange Commission said to be taking part in the investigation.

Other services like data collection via microphone, third-party apps' ability to collect data, etc. that can compromise the privacy of users were also discussed in length. Lawmakers have questioned Apple's policies regarding privacy in the past, asking in 2017 about Apple's dealings with China over concerns it was complicit in assisting China's censorship-based regime. Apple requires RapidSOS to delete messages that contain "Enhanced Emergency Data" collected during 911 calls, such as a caller's estimated longitude and latitude, within 12 hours after receiving it.

Powderly emphasizes that Apple values consumer privacy.

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