Sat, May 21, 2011 - Page 2 News List

More explanation sought from Apple, Sony over privacy

By Mo Yan-chih  /  Staff Reporter

The Taipei City Government’s Law and Regulation Commission yesterday said it would ask Apple Inc and Sony Corp to explain two recent privacy breaches because their initial responses were insufficient.

In a letter of administrative investigation, the commission asked the two companies to submit written explanations earlier this month after media reports about Apple tracking the locations of its iPhone users sparked widespread consumer outrage.

Sony, on the other hand, notified users of its PlayStation Network and authorities last month that hackers might have stolen personal information, including credit card numbers.

Commission head Yeh Ching-yuan (葉慶元) said Apple denied tracking the locations of users’ iPhones, but did not offer further explanation.

“We will demand that Apple Asia offer further explanation and the assurance that its new operating system will protect consumers’ personal information and privacy,” he said.

Yeh said Sony, in written explanations, promised to compensate consumers, including by extending memberships and giving affected consumers a 30-day free membership.

However, he said consumers who were affected by the privacy breach suffered greater economic losses than the company had offered in its compensation plan, and the firm should also explain how it would prevent infringements in the future.

The commission will issue letters to the two companies seeking further explanation, and the companies are required to offer explanations in 10 days, or face a fine of between NT$30,000 and NT$300,000.

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