Friday, April 29, 2011

Apple responds to privacy concerns with new iPhone update.

WorldWide Tech & Science. Roberto Gómez.

Apple is to provide a software update for the iPhone in the coming weeks that will reduce the amount of user location data stored on the device. 

Although Apple firmly denied accusations that the iPhone was set-up to track users’ location data, the move appears a response to recent reports that the latest version of the device was automatically storing location data without users' knowledge or permission. 

“Apple is not tracking the location of your iPhone. Apple has never done so and has no plans to ever do so,” said the firm in a statement  But Apple admitted that the phone did use Wi-Fi hotspot and cell tower data alongside GPS to speed up the iPhone’s location-based services.

However, as this data is too big to store on the phone, Apple said that a subset (cache) was downloaded onto each iPhone and synched with iTunes – and not necessarily in an encrypted form. The backing up of this data is to cease with the new software update. 

“We don’t think the iPhone needs to store more than seven days of this data,” Apple said, acknowledging that “people have identified up to a year’s worth of location data being stored on the iPhone.” 

Apple also admitted that a “bug” is to be corrected which has meant that the location-tracking continues even when the ‘Location Services’ option is disabled.

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