Anyone who has paid attention to the specifications of their iPhone should know that their device is a capable tracking unit. Many of us choose to store and share our location and private data on our iPhone. But those who value their privacy do not appreciate being tracked by companies such as Google and Apple. Apple had to face hearings over iPhone tracking in the U.S. Other governments from around the globe are coming down hard on these two companies. South Korea has now handed Apple a three 3 million won ($2,855) fine.
Some 27,800 South Korean iPhone and iPad users are planning to launch a class action suit against Apple over the matter, while two separate U.S. groups have sued Apple, alleging that certain software applications were passing personal user information to third-party advertisers without consent.
France is joining South Korea in investigating Apple’s “unauthorized” collection of user data. The Commission Nationale de L’Informatique et des Libertés (CNIL) has already stepped up its efforts to find out more about what Apple does with its data:
We have sent two letters to Apple, who have responded to us in part. We received some clarifications, but they were not complete. The file is still under investigation
While these are setbacks for Apple, the company has had a lot of success in the patent world. The company has joined Microsoft and Oracle in attacking Android over some of their patents. Under pressure from various side, Google seems to be snapping:
Android’s success has yielded something else: a hostile, organized campaign against Android by Microsoft, Oracle, Apple and other companies, waged through bogus patents. They’re doing this by banding together to acquire Novell’s old patents (the “CPTN” group including Microsoft and Apple) and Nortel’s old patents (the “Rockstar” group including Microsoft and Apple), to make sure Google didn’t get them; seeking $15 licensing fees for every Android device…,
said Google Senior Vice President and Chief Legal Officer David Drummond. Microsoft claims that Google was asked to be a part of the bid for Nortel’s patents but declined. While we don’t agree how patents are being used to slow down innovation, the facts remain that Google has been very naive with its patent strategy when it comes to Android. Google is surely not complaining about the markets it is dominating with no rivals in sight. This fight is far from over though.
What’s your take: is Google right to complain about Apple & Microsoft in the patent wars?