Home > Mac, Tech > How Apple tracks your location without consent, and why it matters

How Apple tracks your location without consent, and why it matters

In the iconic 1984 ad by Ridley Scott,  Apple tried to show that they wanted to free the mewling masses from Big Brother’s intrusions and oppressions. Ironically, 27 years later, they are supplying the means to provide that very information that Orwell railed against in his dystopian vision. Shame on you, Apple.

How Apple tracks your location without consent, and why it matters.

iPhone Tracker image

Update (04/21/2011 11pm): I downloaded the program mentioned in the article iPhone Tracker and sure enough, it shows where I’d been since I got the iPhone. I have nothing to hide so perhaps it’s a moot point; nevertheless, it’s a “feature” I would hope Apple remedies soon. (special thanks to Kay Harbach who yammed about this on Yammer)

Update (04/22/2011): According to this blog post by the fine people at F-Secure, the location information gets sent to Apple twice a day, presumably to update their global location database, the same type of database Google collected when they were driving around for Google Street View. Instead of using cars to accumulate the data (which is expensive), Apple is using you and me, as iPhone owners, to collect the data for them. Seeing as they are perhaps violating my privacy as well as using me as a tool for their benefit, I want to send them a bill.  Hey Jobs! Geolocate this, jerk!

Update (04/23/2011): Android collects the same data and transmits it to Google. The danger is magnified in the Apple iOS though because the back up resides, unencrypted, on your hard drive when you sync. Android has no mechanism (though the information is sent to Google since your device is linked to your Google account) to sync and backup locally to your PC.

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