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Ok, the title is a bit dramatic, but, as Joey Hess discovered, they are tracking ... Palm News forum

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    MStrawder's Avatar
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    Palm Is Watching You

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    Ok, the title is a bit dramatic, but, as Joey Hess discovered, they are tracking certain information about you. PreCentral took a bigger look at the data and even Palm's TOS to see just what was going on. They found that all of the information being gathered is sent directly back to Palm without the user being any the wiser.

    In the data Hess reviewed, it becomes apparent that Palm is indeed looking at your mobile habits to include:

    • Installed Apps
    • App Usage
    • App Crash Logs
    • Physical Location


    Depending on how you look at it, this could be a great way for Palm to discover what it's users want out of their device, or a way to collect marketing data (not too dissimilar actually). The thing that seems to trouble most users is the fact that Palm can tell where you are at any time. Is this really something all that new though? Many carriers have offered tracking services of devices and their users for quite some time. It was always in the name of locating a lost device or keeping track of the kids, but the key difference was always that you could turn that off.

    PreCentral credits Matthew Miller at ZDnet for locating the portion of the Terms and Conditions that deals specifically with this matter.

    "You agree that Palm and its subsidiaries, affiliates, partners, suppliers, and agents (collectively, Affiliates) may collect, store, access, disclose, transmit, process, and otherwise use your Registration Data, account or Device information, content, and technical data for Palm and its Affiliates to provide you with the Services, address your requests, provide technical support, process any transactions for your account, and otherwise in accordance with Palm's privacy policy. Palm may also provide or enable certain Services through your Device that rely upon location information. In order to provide such Services, Palm and its Affiliates may collect, store, access, disclose, transmit, process, and otherwise use your location data (including real time geographic information) in accordance with Palm's privacy policy. You also agree that Palm has the right, without liability to you, to disclose any information, including but not limited to your Registration Data and other information, to law enforcement authorities or government officials, to the extent Palm believes is reasonably necessary or appropriate."

    So the minute you started using that device, yup, you agreed to that little paragraph there. This really isn't out of line with what many applications and carriers already do. In all honesty, your carrier knows at just about any given moment where you are and what you're looking at. Those neat little apps on your device that look for local restaurants and movie theaters for you are doing the exact same thing, they're grabbing the data from your GPS receiver and reporting it back to someone, somewhere.

    Check out the entire article and the response from Palm here.
    "Our greatest fear is not that we are inadequate, but that we are powerful beyond measure" ~ Marianne Williamson
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    dushdavj's Avatar
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    What with surveillance cameras, phones that report on you, (the IPhone have an abuse application in it), George Orwell would be amazed to see his book (1984) coming to life!!

    Do I want to go back to the days pre-smart phone? No way!! Glad I've got a BB

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    macallik's Avatar
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    That could be a good or bad thing. They should ask if people using the Pre would mind sending data.

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    MStrawder's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by macallik View Post
    That could be a good or bad thing. They should ask if people using the Pre would mind sending data.
    I agree and in Palm's response, they mention that users have the ability to turn this feature off, however I'm not sure how, nor were the folks at PreCentral.
    "Our greatest fear is not that we are inadequate, but that we are powerful beyond measure" ~ Marianne Williamson
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    dirtypirate's Avatar
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    Nothing like paying big brothers dues while it spies on you.
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    There are always good and bad sides to everything. Whilst we have people like MStrawder to identify things like this and let others know big brother will not control us, rather it will be possible to use it to our advantage. The problem will come when these things occur and instead of outrage the opinon becomes whatever.
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    Just seems a little to creepy for me, thank you RIM for not following suit.
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