Dear Palm: Please stop tracking me and my Pre use

The Palm Pre has been sending user info to Palm without users' knowledge.

I see you! CBS Interactive

Tell us you're not really doing this, Palm? Really, we've been friends for over a decade. I've defended you when you had bad ideas and praised you when you had good ideas. But this time even I have to give a well earned "What the...?" I mean, you had to know that modern tech users value their privacy over pretty much anything else, and yet it looks like you're doing this?

It looks like you're sending a daily message to yourself from people's Pres without their knowledge. Why? And why would you have it include what apps are installed and, most frightening of all, their GPS coordinates? Why would you want to know exactly where your customers are on a daily basis?

You've made a great product with the Pre, Palm. Please disable this feature. It's a stain on a company that's known for user experience. If you can't disable it, would you at least change your privacy policies to note that if you're a Pre user, you're being spied on? Sure, it says that you'll gather users info when they use a location-based app--like, say, Google maps--but it doesn't say you'll do it whenever you feel like it. I'm hurt.

Honesty is the best policy, and honesty should be in your policy.

UPDATE: Palm sent me the following statement:

Palm 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. 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.

Well that certainly clears that up.

About the author

    With more than 15 years experience testing hardware (and being obsessed with it), Crave freelance writer Matt Hickey can tell the good gadgets from the great. He also has a keen eye for future technology trends. Matt has blogged for publications including TechCrunch, CrunchGear, and most recently, Gizmodo. Matt is a member of the CNET Blog Network and is not an employee of CBS Interactive. E-mail Matt.


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