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
Durham Free School: 'Creationism taught at' free school facing closure
Nearly 100,000 of Britain's poorest children go hungry after parents' benefits are cut
Ukip would cut billions from Scottish budget to fund English tax cuts
End of the licence fee: BBC to back radical overhaul of how it is funded
Ukraine crisis: Top Chinese diplomat backs Putin and says West should 'abandon zero-sum mentality'
Boris Nemtsov shot dead: Outspoken Putin critic who had expressed fears for his life is killed near the Kremlin
- 1 Home Office says Nigerian asylum-seeker can’t be a lesbian as she’s got children
- 2 What happens to your body when you give up sugar?
- 3 Drugs Live cannabis trial: Hash is less harmful than any other drug, expert claims
- 4 Turkish Airlines flight TK 726 crash-lands on Nepal runway amid dense fog
- 5 Apple and Google users being spied on for a decade because of 'Freak' security flaw
iJobs Gadgets & Tech
£20000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Junior IT Support Technician ...
£35000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This distributor and wholesaler...
£28000 - £30000 per annum + Bonus, Pension, 25days hol, PHC +: Ashdown Group: ...
£20000 - £24000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The successful candidate will h...