Apple denies tracking iPhones, to fix 'bugs'
Wednesday 27 April 2011
Apple on Wednesday denied claims it was tracking the location of iPhone users but said it planned to fix "bugs" that resulted in location data being unencrypted and stored for up to a year.
"Apple is not tracking the location of your iPhone," the California company said in a statement. "Apple has never done so and has no plans to ever do so."
Apple said the iPhone was not logging a user's location but maintaining a database of nearby Wi-Fi hotspots and cell towers to "help your iPhone rapidly and accurately calculate its location when requested."
The statement was Apple's first on the issue since a pair of researchers raised privacy concerns last week with their revelation that iPhones and iPads were storing latitude and longitude coordinates along with a time stamp.
Apple said the location data researchers were seeing on the iPhone is "not the past or present location of the iPhone, but rather the locations of Wi-Fi hotspots and cell towers surrounding the iPhone's location, which can be more than one hundred miles away from the iPhone."
"This data is sent to Apple in an anonymous and encrypted form," Apple said.
At the same time, however, Apple said it planned to reduce the amount of time the Wi-Fi and cell tower data is stored on the iPhone from as much as a year to seven days.
"The reason the iPhone stores so much data is a bug we uncovered and plan to fix shortly," Apple said. "We don't think the iPhone needs to store more than seven days of this data."
Apple also said the data cache will eventually be encrypted and can be deleted by a user when Location Services is turned off on the iPhone.
US lawmakers this week invited Apple and Google to attend a hearing on privacy next month following the claims that the iPhone and Android devices were regularly tracking a user's location and storing the data.
The House Energy and Commerce Committee also sent letters this week to Apple, Google, Microsoft, Nokia, Research in Motion, and Hewlett-Packard asking whether their devices are tracking, storing, and sharing users' locations.
Life & Style blogs
New £3 pill that will help stop you drinking too much available on the NHS
Dame Vivienne Westwood: The former Queen of Punk may now be an establishment pillar, but her work is still controversial – and much copied
Revealed: Lidl’s £4 perfume smells identical to Chanel’s £70 scent - but the difference is in the bottle
Girl, 7, gets Tesco to remove 'stupid' sign suggesting superheroes are 'for boys'
Coke milk? Coca-Cola to launch premium milk brand called Fairlife
Rochester by-election: Ukip gains second MP as Tory defector Mark Reckless holds seat
'Beast of Bolsover' Dennis Skinner takes Ukip MP Mark Reckless to task moments after he is sworn in
Ukip says babies born to immigrants in the UK should be classed as migrants – which would include Nigel Farage’s own children
The young are the new poor: Sharp increase in number of under-25s living in poverty, while over-65s are better off than ever
Tamir Rice: 12-year-old boy playing with fake gun dies after being shot by Ohio police
Exclusive: UK approved £7m Israeli arms sales in six months before Gaza conflict
- 1 I'm A Celebrity 2014: Jungle security stepped up after murder and 'suspicious death' near to camp
- 2 To help fuel their propaganda machine against the poor, our government has now decided to redefine the word 'welfare'
- 3 Jeremy Hunt: 'I took my children to A&E because I didn't want to wait for GP appointment'
- 4 Girl, 7, gets Tesco to remove 'stupid' sign suggesting superheroes are 'for boys'
- 5 This letter from a reader explains why women can’t play football
iJobs Gadgets & Tech
Negotiable: Argyll Scott International: Senior Business Analyst - Insurance ...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This consulting firm are searching for an Adva...
£20000 - £26000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Desktop Support Analyst - Sutton, Su...
£15k - 18k per year + Benefits & OTE: Opilio Recruitment: Digital Media, Mob...