Palm Responds To Monitoring Complaint


Palm issues a statement in the wake of complaints stemming from the Pre smartphone’s habit of sending users’ data back to the company

Palm has responded to complaints from mobile application developer and Palm Pre smartphone owner Joey Hess, who claimed on his personal blog to have discovered evidence of Palm receiving daily data updates about the location and application use of Hess’ Pre.

The allegation caused an uproar in Internet forums and in the media and blogosphere.

Following his discovery, Hess posted coding to disable the device’s ability to upload such information, noting it may not stick across WebOS upgrades. “Since Palm has lawyers, they have a privacy policy, which covers their ass fairly well regarding all this, without going into details or making clear that the above data is being uploaded,” he wrote.

Palm issued a statement in response, claiming the company takes privacy very seriously and offers users ways to turn data-collecting services on and off.

“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,” the statement read. “For instance, when location based services are used, we collect their information to give them relevant local results in Google Maps. We appreciate the trust that users give us with their information, and have no intention to violate that trust.”

Palm’s Pre smartphone, touted as a serious contender to Apple’s wildly popular iPhone and which has seen reasonable sales success since its debut this summer, has benefited from a strong high-end handset market while other mobile markets suffer. However, according to a Gartner report, Palm, which sold just 205,000 units of the touch-screen Pre in the latest quarter, currently ranks 10th in the smartphone market. The analyst firm said it remains concerned about the Pre’s ability to gain traction outside the U.S. market, where its brand is less strong.

However, the Pre may get a boost from its new carrier partner, Verizon. In late July, the carrier announced the Pre will no longer be exclusive to the Sprint network and will arrive on the Verizon network “early next year,” according to Verizon COO Denny Stigl during the carrier’s on 27 July quarterly earnings call.

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