Republicans on the House Energy and Commerce Committee slipped an attention-grabbing query in a letter they despatched Monday to Apple CEO Tim Cook that was in any other case centered largely on privacy-related issues. This specific query was partly in response to the sturdy public stance Cook has taken in favor of defending consumer knowledge and privateness as in comparison with different Silicon Valley giants which have, properly, been not so good at that.

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Here’s the gist of what these House Republicans requested Cook of their letter: Apple customers have constantly had entry to apps by the App Store “that you’ve got highlighted as contradictory to Apple’s values, together with Google and Facebook apps.” The implication being — Tim, ah, what provides?

They additionally needed to know much more, akin to about knowledge assortment practices and the like.

“We write right this moment to be taught extra in regards to the capabilities of Apple’s iPhone gadgets, specifically the gathering and use of shopper knowledge and microphone performance of iPhones,” the letter to Cook reads (and you’ll learn the total model right here). “Recent experiences have indicated that shopper knowledge gathered by cell telephones, together with location data and recordings of customers, could also be utilized in ways in which shoppers don’t count on.”

About the App Store query, although — Tim doesn’t at all times get pressed on that time. about what would trigger Apple to ever kick one thing like Facebook out of the shop. So will probably be attention-grabbing to see what he comes up with in response. A stone chilly remark from Tim in response to Facebook’s latest troubles, after all, scored a slew of headlines when he was requested what he would do if he had been in Mark Zuckerberg’s place. I wouldn’t be in that place, Tim countered.

The congressmen, in the meantime, are questioning why Facebook occupies a place within the app retailer Tim’s firm oversees.

To be certain, the congressmen saved their most pointed questions for a separate letter that went out to Larry Page, CEO of Google dad or mum firm Alphabet. The focus of each letters was roughly the identical — it zeroed in on how third-party companies entry and deal with knowledge from each Apple and Google customers.

The letter to Page will be learn in full right here. And each executives had been requested to reply and return all the questions by July 23.

“In June 2017,” lawmakers wrote to Page, “Google introduced adjustments to Gmail that will halt scanning the contents of a consumer’s e mail to personalize ads to ‘preserve privateness and safety…

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