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Palm Pre owners: Big Brother is watching

Ruh roh. It looks like Palm may be pulling a Big Brother on Pre owners without their knowledge — until now, anyway. This morning, developer Joey Hess publicly examined a portion of webOS code that reports information back to Palm in order to determine exactly what info the manufacturer is retrieving behind the scenes. What he uncovered, loosely put, is pretty uncool. Pre handsets report at least the following info back to Palm daily:

  • Your location
  • Which apps you’ve used and for how long
  • Your app crash logs
  • Which apps you have installed

Now, this discovery raises all kinds of issues surrounding ethics, disclosure, privacy and a host of other touchy subjects. As with all privacy policies, Palm’s is BS sketchy shady unclear vague broad enough to likely cover such invasions of privacy. Hess does detail a relatively easy way to disable the transfer of personal data back to Palm’s servers but it requires Linux. More convenient methods of disabling this “feature” will likely surface in the coming days but the question as to why Palm needs this personal data remains. So, Pre users, are you guys cool with this?

[Via PreCentral]

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Zach Epstein

Zach Epstein has been the Executive Editor at BGR for more than 10 years. He manages BGR’s editorial team and ensures that best practices are adhered to. He also oversees the Ecommerce team and directs the daily flow of all content.

Zach first joined BGR in 2007 as a Staff Writer covering business, technology, and entertainment. His work has been quoted by countless top news organizations, and he was recently named one of the world's top 10 “power mobile influencers” by Forbes. Prior to BGR, Zach worked as an executive in marketing and business development with two private telcos.