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It wasn’t the most thrilling news to learn that your Android device's photos could be accessed and remotely stored without your approval. Not surprisingly, the lack of privacy regulations on Android apps has riled advocates to the hilt. Senator Charles Schumer (D) has requested that the Federal Trade Commission look into the photo-app debacle for Android and iOS, sharing his concern over apps’ ability to lift content without users’ knowledge.
“These uses go well beyond what a reasonable user understands himself to be consenting to when he allows an app to access data on the phone for purposes of the app's functionality,” Schumer said in his missive to the FTC. He goes on to say that Android’s terms of service had been violated, and that it was unclear “whether or how those terms of service are being enforced and monitored” by Google.
Schumer in fact wants more safety measures to keep third-party app makers in line, something that both Google and Apple have already agreed to do for apps’ terms of service. Late last month the two mobile powerhouses, along with Amazon, Microsoft, RIM and HP agreed to disclose how they use private data before an app is downloaded, and the privacy notice extends to developer apps on their respective platforms. It’s a necessary change that will help to standardize mobile marketplaces, all in the interest of consumer safety.
Android 6.0 Key Lime Pie?
On a lighter note, rumors are already spinning around the Android version to come after 5.0 Jelly Bean. Staying in line with alphabetically ordered desserts, TechRadar reports that Android 6.0 will be named Key Lime Pie. With word of yet another Android version comes high expectations for Jelly Bean, which could be released sooner than expected. There’s few details on Android versions 5.0 or 6.0, and neither have been confirmed by Google. But with ICS still rolling-out at a snail’s pace, we wonder if Google’s just getting ahead of itself.