Palm accused of spying on Pre users

Palm Pre smartphones might be spying on their users, according to a Debian Linux developer.

This Article Covers


Palm Pre smartphones might be spying on their users, according to a Debian Linux developer.

"I have been taking a closer look at the WebOS side of my Palm Pre tonight, and I noticed that it periodically uploads information to Palm," Joey Hess wrote in a blog post.

He gives lines of code intended to send Palm daily updates about the GPS location of the user, what applications are used and for how long.

The Palm Pre phones are also recording when applications crash and taking a system state snapshot, wrote Joey Hess (pictured).

The device gives no indication that it is capturing or forwarding this information. The only evidence is in the log files, Hess told The Register.

His biggest concern is about location information being sent to Palm, which he considers both unnecessary and a large privacy risk.

Palm said in a statement to The Register that its privacy policy includes very detailed language about potential scenarios in which it might use customer information.

But Hess wrote in his blog that, although the document covers Palm fairly well regarding all this, it does not make it clear what data is being uploaded.

In a statement Palm said it offers users ways to turn data collecting services on and off, but gave no details of how to do it.



Enjoy the benefits of CW+ membership, learn more and join.

Read more on Mobile hardware



Forgot Password?

No problem! Submit your e-mail address below. We'll send you an email containing your password.

Your password has been sent to:




  • Dissecting the Hack

    In this excerpt from chapter three of Dissecting the Hack: The V3RB0TEN Network, authors Jayson E. Street, Kristin Sims and Brian...

  • Digital Identity Management

    In this excerpt of Digital Identity Management, authors Maryline Laurent and Samia Bousefrane discuss principles of biometrics ...

  • Becoming a Global Chief Security Executive Officer

    In this excerpt of Becoming a Global Chief Security Executive Officer: A How to Guide for Next Generation Security Leaders, ...