The US Federal Communication Commission (FCC) has finally gotten involved in the growing controversy over location data collection by Apple and Google.
FCC sent invitations to Google, Apple and consumer advocates to participate in a “public education forum”, designed to address growing privacy concerns among consumers that started after the discovery of back-doors in the Apple iPhone and Google Android phones which allowed collection of location based data without notifying the users.
"While the use of location data has spurred innovation, the FCC's National Broadband Plan recognizes that consumer apprehension about privacy can also act as a barrier to the adoption and utilization of broadband and mobile devices," the FCC said in a statement, Reuters reports.
The forum set by FCC is likely to focus on issues like how location tracking software work, where it has been used till now, how it can be practised for consumers’ benefits in the future.
The FCC has regulatory powers that could affect how both companies operate, at least in the US, but inviting Google and Apple to a forum indicates that the FCC is taking a soft approach to the situation, which may not be enough to satisfy privacy watchdog groups.