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EU warns Sony, Apple on privacy

Millions of users may have been affected by a Sony PlayStation data breach that occurred April 17-19. Millions of users may have been affected by a Sony PlayStation data breach that occurred April 17-19. (Kiyoshi Ota/ Getty Images/ File 2010)
Bloomberg News / May 4, 2011

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LUXEMBOURG — Sony Corp. and Apple Inc. must work to reassure users their personal data will be safe, the European Union’s justice commissioner said yesterday.

The leak of information from the Sony PlayStation Network and reports on the collection and storage of location data on Apple’s iPhones have weakened trust in technology, Viviane Reding said in Brussels.

“Those in charge have to take the relevant technical and organizational measures to guarantee protection against data loss or an unjustified access,’’ Reding said.

The companies did not immediately respond to messages seeking comment.

Sony last week said that more than 77 million customer records may have been compromised in an attack on its Qriocity network, which provides PlayStation users with access to videos and games.

Reding said it took too long until Sony customers were notified. “Seven days is much too long,’’ she said.

A report by the O’Reilly Radar website said Apple devices log latitude-longitude coordinates and the time of visits to locations across the globe.

Apple said it is “not tracking the location of your iPhone’’ and “has no plans to ever do so.’’ The company said the iPhone saves information on Wi-Fi hotspots and cellular towers to help the phone determine its location when needed by the user.