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US Congress Asks Apple to Answer iPhone App Privacy Concerns

Apple is apparently in hot water following the recent scandal exposing iPhone apps' ability to access contact lists and copy address book details without users knowing it.

Two members of the US Congress wrote a letter to Apple CEO Tim Cook demanding him to clarify the situation, that seemingly violates consumers' rights in relation to privacy.

The letter raises questions about Apple's ethical policies suggesting that "there's a quiet understanding among many iOS app developers that it is acceptable to send a user's entire address book, without their permission, to remote servers and then store it for future reference. It's common practice, and many companies likely have your address book stored in their database."

Apple officials are asked to clearly describe their iOS app guidelines related to privacy and data security.

In addition, the two US congressmen ask for specific details about app verification process and how many apps available in the iTunes transmit "data about the user."

The letter also asks Apple to explain why the company didn't take active measures to protect address book information, as it did with other features, like protecting the user's location.

Apple has been asked to provide the required information by 'no later than' February 29th.

Radu has been working as a freelance writer for more than five years and has been blogging around since 2004. He is interested in anything Apple as well as gaming and mobile applications.