The BBC reports that Palm’s long-awaited next-generation handset, the Pre, has been returning system and location data to Palm without users being aware or giving consent. Developer Joey Hess noticed some odd traffic going out from the handset and investigated further, only to find that the device was returning daily details of its location, installed applications, usage and crashes.
Palm have responded by saying that they take privacy seriously, and that this service is mentioned in the small print of their Ts & Cs, but it does appear to be unnecessarily invasive. If the iPhone is anything to go by, installed apps can reveal a lot about the users’ interests, sexuality, religion, finances and other potentially sensitive information. Couple those with a home location, and you’ve got a good personal profile.
Palm don’t appear to have addressed the issue at the time of writing, but they have a couple of months to do so before the UK launch of the handset.