Oh, this is precious.
Again, before I get too far into excoriating the foolishness of the grandstanding of a fading star, let’s be clear on one thing: politically, I’m a huge fan of Senator Al Franken. I think he’s done a great job in the senate and I think that his common sense approach to politics is what’s going to get us out of the current political climate.
Well, I thought that. I still think that, and I’m going to give him the benefit of the doubt and go with “he wasn’t really thinking” when he sent a letter to Steve Jobs about the current brouha-whollymoley over iPhones tracking your every move.
Yes, Apple needs to address this issue, but I think that Google has to as well. And Nokia, Motorola, Samsung, AT&T, Verizon, basically any company that has either half of the transaction here should be coming forth and explaining all of how this works. And why. But, mostly, they have, which is outlined in Franken’s letter.
Basic truth of life, mobile phones track you, and any and every way they track you should be public knowledge and secured. Documentation: it’s what’s for dinner.
However, does Al Franken need to pen a letter to Steve Jobs? No. Penning a letter to Steve Jobs is what we call “grand standing” when we’re feeling particularly nice. Today, we call it “douchebaggery” because we are currently attired with our unsvelte cranky pants.
Of course, if Franken hadn’t sent the letter one of the other 537 would. None of them should, tho, and you know why? Because this isn’t just something that Apple does, it’s part of the industry. If you want to know why something is there, as a Senator, you could call the company, they’d answer the phone. Trust me. And while you might not speak with Steve directly, you’d get someone who would answer you, and, more importantly, you could schedule a time for Congress to go to School.
Because that’s what Congressional Hearings are for – people have a concern, it’s raised in an outcry of voices, and, unless there’s a battle-station that destroys the planet, those millions of voices are heard and Congress, being the good elected officials they are, move into action and ask questions – OF EVERYBODY.
Steve Jobs didn’t invent the cell phone, nor did he pass the laws that require that all cellular devices be able to accurately give their triangulated location to cell towers when connecting for e911 services to work. Guess who passed that?
And yes, Apple may have made a mistake, but I can see, clearly, that once again, even the brightest and most impressive leaders of our great country have failed to get the education they need on the topics they pass laws on, because they are asking the questions the industry needs to answer, but only asking one person.
Way to miss the boat, guys.
UPDATE: Dude, have you seen this? Because it appears that all of Franken’s questions were answered by Apple, something like TEN MONTHS BEFORE THEY WERE ASKED BY FRANKEN. (Hat tip; Andy Ihnatko)