Apple: iPhones not tracking user location
Apple denied its iPhones track and store user locations, arguing the file on the phone is a list of nearby towers and WiFi connections in a user’s general area – not their specific location.
The recent discovery of the file by researches sparked an outcry by privacy advocates globally who were worried their private location data was being recorded without their knowledge or consent. Apple became the lashing block for mobile privacy issues as a number of groups threatened to sue.
The data is not about tracking but about making location driven programs on the phone more efficient, claimed Apple. The data help the phone location itself without depending on signals from GPS satellites to aid navigation applications in providing locations faster and more accurately.
The fact that the data is stored however was because of a software error Apple plans to correct. The company is planning a corrective software release in a few weeks. The correction will also stop the file from backing up the location data on the user’s computer. In addition, users who turn off location data will be free from from the tracking file.
“Users are confused, partly because creators of this new technology (including Apple) have not provided enough education about these issues to date,” Apple said in its statement explaining the file was not meant to track users but instead help the user experience.