back to article Palm accused of spying on Pre owners

If you're a Palm Pre user, it appears that your phone is telling Palm where you are, which apps you're using, how long you're using them, and when those apps crash. So says a blog post by one Unix-savvy Pre investigator. Debian-developer Joey Hess told The Reg that he had no idea Palm was uploading his personal data until he …


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  1. Bel Fegore

    roll on Palm and Google brother

    it is just toooo funny - not:

    while Apple is getting the flak from the geek bloggerati such as the , Google collects every keystroke you make ( and Palm is tracking your every movement.

  2. Andrew 19

    palm accused of doing exactly what it said it would

    Engadget has a pic of a first time setup, user agreement type screen that straight up tells you it's going to collect location data.

    It says "allow Google's location service to collect anonymous and aggregate location data. Collection will occur regardless of whether any applications are active"

    There follows Agree and Disagree buttons so you can opt out. Controversy FAIL.

  3. Mike 119


    Well it could be sent to palm in the event if a crash. Could which tower your currently using be of interest to the developers in investigating a problem?

    If this data I'd being gathers, but not sent could it be a case of palm asking the user to send this info?

  4. Marc Rogers

    Violation of Privacy legislation

    It would be interesting to see legal opinions for Palm's position.

    One interpretation of the UK data protection act is that this would constitute a breach for a number of reasons.

    i wonder if anyone has told the UK information commissioner


  5. Chris Beach

    Where's the issue?

    So far all I can see is that Palm are doing what every OS manufacturer should do, which is gather metrics on the use of that system, in order to improve it.

    Notification? mmm, maybe it would be nice, but its a phone, I don't want the slim resources wasted on a notification feature only the paranoid care about.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    If Pre have it, then so do the Feds

    I'd be more worried about this if I were you. Under US telecoms legislation and the domestic spying (Sorry, anti terror) laws brought in by the Bush admistrration, if Pre gather this information on you then the Feds can more or less demand that it's handed over. Some of it they don't even need a warrant to get.

    Suppose that you have an app on your phone that the Feds don't like, like that iPhone app that tells you where the legal marijuana points are, or one which tells you where public access wifi networks are with admins don't record usage data (Essentially anonymous internet access), or if your GPS data shows that you visited a neighborhood with a crystal meth lab in it? The Feds can get this data and your GPS data off of Palm and can violate the Fourth Amendment in all kinds of funky new ways.

  7. Chris 211


    Is nobody's personal information safe from anyone! Why are companys like this not nailed to the wall with legal action. They know they are doing wrong because they are trying to use bland corp speak and assumed agreements which nobody ever agrees to.

  8. Adam T

    Re: If Pre have it, then so do the Feds

    Limited use to law enforcement agencies. That just says where your phone is, not where you are.

  9. Nigel Wright

    And what about the impact upon my data costs?

    ...presumably transmission of such data would be coming out of my data plan? That's naughty.

  10. Jimmy Floyd

    @Chris Beach

    And I don't want slim resources used on logging the data in the first place. Was that a serious post or were you just trolling? Let's talk about who pays for transmitting the data back home.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Big Brother

    If You Tolerate This

    Your children will be next...

    there is no way i will touch a device that tracks me for the police...

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Gates Halo


    C'mon Palm, even Microsoft ask you nicely if you would like to send details of program crashes back to them...If MS do it then there is no excuse.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    As Nigel said but also

    when you go abroad do you want to pay data roaming charges - explain that to your accounts department that you only used it for voice but the bill clearly shows data usage.

    Do we get a refund from Palm then ?

  14. Anonymous Coward

    @AC 09:17

    So you do not have any of the following:

    A mobile phone of any description

    A computer with an internet connection

    A modern (RFID) passport

    A credit/debit card

    A motor vehicle with an anti-theft tracker (or even a GPS on certain marques)

    A motor vehicle with legal plates (can you say ANPR?)

    Recently purchased clothes or other commodities (RFID again)

    A bank account

    A job with a defined place of work

    A bin

    A face




    Yes, "the man" could use any of the above to track/monitor you. Some are more real time than others, of course.


    Have Palm lost their minds?

    What do they think they are doing?

    What a wonderful way to endear yourself to your customers.

  16. Mephistro

    @AC 07:28

    I used part of your post -"Suppose that you have an app on your phone that the Feds don't like, like that iPhone app that tells you where the legal marijuana points are"- in translation party (

    The final result was: "iPhone applications, mobile applications, the federal government to legalize marijuana, I hope."

    Ludicrous :)

    Why the troll? I wasn't able to find an excuse to use the Paris icon, and the troll also has funny eyes.

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