Smartphone vendor Palm has hit back at concerns that its high-profile Pre device may be abusing owners’ privacy. A BBC report notes that one owner found his Pre was reporting his location over a secure connection back to Palm on a daily basis, as well as sending back information about application crashes. In addition, the update also included a list of the third party applications installed on the phone and how long they were used for. In a statement, Palm said it took users’ privacy “very seriously” and said it gave owners ways “to turn data collecting services on and off.” The statement added that Palm’s 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… We appreciate the trust that users give us with their information, and have no intention to violate that trust.”

Palm launched the Pre in June on US network Sprint, and is hoping the device – which runs its new mobile operating system, webOS – will help turn around company fortunes after many quarters of large losses. Further launches in Europe and Canada follow shortly (via Telefonica and Bell, respectively). Earlier this week analyst firm Gartner fired a warning shot to the vendor during release of its latest global handset sales report. “This device attracted a lot of media attention [in the most recent quarter] but showed mixed results at the cash register as sales only reached 205,000 units,” said Roberta Cozza, principal analyst at Gartner. “Palm currently ranks tenth in the smartphone market and Gartner remains concerned about its ability to gain traction outside the US market, where its brand is less strong.”