05/25/2011 06:44 pm ET | Updated Jul 25, 2011

Senator Al Franken Calls For App Privacy Policies From Google, Apple

Following a heated row over smartphone location tracking that culminated in Apple and Google representatives appearing before a Senate Judiciary panel earlier this month, Senator Al Franken has requested that the companies now provide privacy policies for all "location-aware" apps.

According to a statement issued on Wednesday by Senator Franken's office, the purpose of such policies would be to clearly inform users how the app will collect, use and share personal data, if at all.

"Unfortunately, neither of your companies requires that apps on your stores have a privacy policy," the senator wrote in a letter (PDF) to Apple and Google. "As a result, a significant portion and potentially a majority of apps on your stores lack privacy policies."

Senator Franken penned this request, he said, as a followup to his statement during the previous Senate hearing that Apple and Google consider introducing privacy policies for all their apps.

"Apple and Google have each said time and again that they are committed to protecting users' privacy," he concluded in his letter. "This is an easy opportunity for your companies to put that commitment into action."

Apple and Google have also been invited to an FCC-hosted open forum in June on location-tracking, during which the companies will engage with consumer advocates on the practice of collecting customer data.

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