August 13, 2009
Palm has responded to claims that its recently-launched Pre smartphone abuses owners’ privacy.
The company issued a statement after one owner discovered his phone was sending data every day back to Palm.
The information included the current location of the phone and how long each application was used for.
In its statement, Palm said it took users’ privacy “seriously” and said it gave phone owners ways to turn features on and off.
The discovery was made by software developer and Pre owner Joey Hess, who found that his phone was reporting his location over a secure connection back to Palm. It also sent back information about application crashes – even those not seen by a Pre owner.
Also in the daily update sent to Palm was a list of the third party applications installed on the phone.
Mr Hess found a way to disable the reporting by editing the phone’s software.
Palm issued a statement about Mr Hess’ discovery and said it “offers users ways to turn data collecting services on and off”.
“We appreciate the trust that users give us with their information, and have no intention to violate that trust,” said Palm.