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August 14, 2009

Palm denies Pre privacy claims

Location and app info uploaded to company

By Steve Evans

Smartphone maker Palm has denied claims that its new Pre device spies on users by sending data back to the company.

US-based software developer Joey Hess reported on his blog that he had discovered his Pre device was uploading data to Palm, including information about the phone’s location and application information. The application data included reports on which applications had been installed on the device, how long they had been used for and information about crashes.

Hess confirmed that he managed to disable the uploads by editing the software on the Pre.

Palm has denied that its actions are an invasion of privacy and added that its privacy policies are standard across the industry.

“Palm takes privacy very seriously, and offers users ways to turn data collecting services on and off,” the firm said in a statement.

“Our privacy policy is like many policies in the industry and includes very detailed language about potential scenarios in which we might use a customer’s information, all toward a goal of offering a great user experience. We appreciate the trust that users give us with their information, and have no intention to violate that trust,” the company said.

The Palm Pre, tipped by many to be an iPhone killer, is only available in the US. It is expected to be released in the UK in December.

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