HTC responds to tracking claims

HTC has become the latest mobile player to become embroiled in controversy over the tracking of users’ locations.

The Taiwanese handset manufacturer faces allegations that two of its handsets, the Sensation and Evo 3D, track users’ locations without permission. A new Android software update that was issued to these two handsets was found to have included tweaks that allow the OS to log users’ behaviour.

The allegations come just days after Microsoft found itself being sued in the US after it was accused of tracking the location of its smartphone users, while almost 27,000 Apple customers in South Korea are suing the firm for tracking their movements via their phones’ location.

However, HTC has defended its policy, claiming that the new functions are all tied to an opt-in service and that it is not spying on anyone.

The firm said that all of the data collected by the devices in question is encrypted, and the data collected by the process is only sent to HTC if the user has already opted in to an error reporting feature.

“HTC, like most manufacturers, has an opt-in error reporting function built in to our devices. If your phone experiences an error, you have the option of “Telling HTC” so we can make improvements to our phones,” the firm said in a statement.

“Details about this are in our privacy policy on each device and in order for data to be collected, you have to opt-in. If you do opt-in, we protect your privacy by de-identifing and encrypting the data. HTC is committed to protecting your privacy and that means a commitment to clear opt-in/opt-out as the standard for collecting any information we need to serve you better.”

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