Date: UPDATED April 27, 2011
Companies: Apple and Google
CEOs: Steve Jobs and Larry Page
Synopsis: Apple and Google both getting hammered in the press for location tracking software in iPhones and Android phones. Now members of Congress are seizing the day. Senator Al Franken, D-Minn. has written directly to Apple CEO Steve Jobs and also scheduled a May 10 hearing on mobile privacy. Apple and Google on at the top of the witness list, though neither has RSVP’ed, according to Adweek’s Katy Bachman.
Brand Bubble: In my view, it’s going to take a lot more than a flap about privacy to even put the slightest ding in Steve Job’s brand. He’s iconic, his company is beloved, and on Wednesday 4.27, Apple acknowledged that it had made a mistake, attributed to a programming error, in storing the data for a long time. It said it planned to fix the problem with a software update. “We don’t think the iPhone needs to store more than seven days of this data,” the company said.
Larry Page on the other hand is off to rough start at Google, where many people aren’t sure he’s up to the job, so headaches like this he doesn’t need. Still, I think this whole thing will be viewed as an industry issue which is why nobody’s reputation is going bust either. At least right now.
Prediction: You can bet that Franken will be in “top form” since this is the first hearing he has called since being named chairman of the new Senate subcommittee on Privacy, Technology and the Law. And let’s face it, people are concerned. So the hearings will get coverage.” Franken wants to be sure consumer privacy is protected and that the law keeps pace with technology.