Ranking Members Waxman and Butterfield Seek More Answers on Privacy Concerns with Apple Products

Mar 14, 2012

Today Energy and Commerce Committee Ranking Member Henry A. Waxman and Commerce, Manufacturing, and Trade Subcommittee Ranking Member G. K. Butterfield sent a letter to Apple CEO Tim Cook requesting a briefing to address questions they previously raised in a letter last month and new concerns that have since been raised about the company’s efforts to protect the privacy of consumers of its products.

The full text of the letter is below and also available online here. Apple’s response to the members’ February 15, 2012, letter is available online here.

March 14, 2012

Mr. Tim Cook
Chief Executive Officer, Apple Inc.
1 Infinite Loop
Cupertino, CA  95014

Dear Mr. Cook:

            We have received and reviewed the reply of Apple Inc., to our February 15, 2012, letter requesting information about your company’s app developer policies and practices to protect the privacy and security of your mobile device users’ information.  We thank you for responding to our letter. 

            The March 2 reply we received from Apple does not answer a number of the questions we raised about the company’s efforts to protect the privacy and security of its mobile device users.  In addition, subsequent to our letter, concerns have been raised about the manner in which apps can access photographs on your mobile devices and tools provided by Apple to consumers to prevent unwanted online tracking.[1]  To help us understand these issues, we request that you make available representatives to brief our staff on the Energy and Commerce Committee. 

            If you have any questions regarding this request, please contact Felipe Mendoza with the Energy and Commerce Committee staff at 202-226-3400.



Henry A. Waxman
Ranking Member

G.K. Butterfield
Ranking Member
Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing, and Trade

[1]  See, e.g., Nick Bilton, Apple Loophole Gives Developers Access to Photos, The New York Times (Feb. 28, 2012) (available at www.bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/02/28/tk-ios-gives-developers-access-to-...) and Julia Angwin and Jennifer Valentino-Devries, Google’s iPhone Tracking, The Wall Street Journal (Feb. 17, 2012).