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Palm accused of spying on Pre users

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

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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.

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