With Apple and Google both getting mountains of negative press for location tracking software in iPhones and Android phones, it was almost inevitable that members of Congress, famous for their ability to smell television cameras, would want to get involved. Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., for one, is really pressing the issue—first by writing directly to Apple CEO Steve Jobs, and now by scheduling a May 10 hearing on mobile privacy for which both Apple and Google top Franken's witness wish list. Neither company has RSVP'ed.
"This hearing is the first step in making certain that federal laws protecting consumers' privacy, particularly when it comes to mobile devices, keep pace with advances in technology," Franken said in a statement.
It's the first hearing that Franken has arranged since he was named chairman of the Senate's new Subcommittee on Privacy, Technology, and the Law.
Last week, in a letter Franken sent to Jobs, the senator asked Apple about the operating system in iPhones and iPads, which had been tracking and saving data about users' locations.
The usual suspects confirmed for Sen. Franken's hearing include representatives from the Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission; Ashkan Soltani, an independent privacy researcher and consultant; and Justin Brookman, director of the Center for Democracy and Technology's Project on Consumer Privacy.
Calls to Google and Apple were not immediately returned.