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Congressmen ask Steve Jobs to explain changes in Apple’s privacy policy

US congress members have written to Apple chief executive Steve Jobs about concerns that the firm is collecting and sharing geo-location data of iPhone and iPad users.

Congressmen Edward Markey and Joe Barton have asked Apple for an explanation of recent changes in the company's privacy policy, according to US reports.

The congressmen told Jobs they are concerned about the impact the collection of geo-location data could have on the privacy of Apple's customers.

The letter comes after the Los Angeles Times reported that Apple has updated is privacy policy to allow Apple and unspecified partners and licensees to collect, use and share user location data.

Users have to agree to the new terms and conditions before they are able to download any new content from the Apple iTunes store, the report said.

Apple claims the data is anonymous and does not personally identify users, but analysts have shown that large, specific data sets can be used to identify people based on behaviour patterns.

Congressmen Markey and Barton have given Apple until 12 July to respond to their concerns.


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