Ranking Members Waxman and Butterfield Launch Inquiry into Information Collection and Use Practices of Social Apps for Apple Devices

Mar 22, 2012

Today Energy and Commerce Committee Ranking Member Henry A. Waxman and Commerce, Manufacturing, and Trade Subcommittee Ranking Member G. K. Butterfield sent letters to 34 sellers of social apps for Apple Inc.’s mobile devices inquiring about their information collection and use practices.

Following recent reports that apps could collect address book information and photos without notice and consent from users of Apple’s mobile devices, the members are seeking to better understand what, if any, information these particular apps gather, what they do with it, and what notice they provide to app users.  The members want the information to begin building a fact-based understanding of the privacy and security practices in the app marketplace. 

The apps were selected for the inquiry based on their inclusion in the “Social Networking” subcategory within the “iPhone Essentials” area of Apple’s App Store.       

The letters and the complete list of companies are available below.