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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]


Zach Epstein

Zach Epstein has worked in and around ICT for more than 15 years, first in marketing and business development with two private telcos, then as a writer and editor covering business news, consumer electronics and telecommunications. Zach’s work has been quoted by countless top news publications in the US and around the world. He was also recently named one of the world's top-10 “power mobile influencers” by Forbes, as well as one of Inc. Magazine's top-30 Internet of Things experts.

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