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  • Apple Chief Steve Jobs Allegedly Responds to iOS Location Tracking


    Reports surfaced Monday morning that Apple CEO Steve Jobs has responded to accusations that iOS devices track user location data. Late last week, two prominent security researchers came forward saying that they have discovered that the iPhone maintains a location log that includes longitudinal and latitudinal coordinates as well as a timestamp. Each time the iPhone is synced to the computer a new log file is created.

    In the wake of the report, a backlash mounted against Apple from the likes of consumer privacy watchdogs, US lawmakers, and, naturally, a great many iOS users who feel their privacy is compromised by the supposed tracking functionality of their mobile devices. Consequently, no shortage of iPhone users have dashed off terse notes to Apple seeking information. And it now appears that one such message received a personal reply from Apple's chief executive.

    "Could you please explain the necessity of the passive location-tracking tool embedded in my iPhone?" the customer wrote in email. "It's kind of unnerving knowing that my exact location is being recorded at all times. Maybe you could shed some light on this for me before I switch to a Droid. They don't track me." Jobs' typically terse response: "Oh yes they do. We don't track anyone. The info circulating around is false." The reply originated via Jobs' iPhone.
    In the past, Steve Jobs has been known to reply directly to Apple customers, so the concept certainly isn't out of the realm of possibility. But, at the same time, numerous media outlets and publications have been duped by false messages from Jobs. At this point in time, it's still too early to confirm the validity of the email or the content of the message.

    But all signs clearly point to a continuation of this story in the headlines until some detailed and legitimate answers are provided by Apple.

    Source: Fierce Mobile Content
    This article was originally published in forum thread: Apple Chief Steve Jobs Allegedly Responds to iOS Location Tracking started by Michael Essany View original post
    Comments 79 Comments
    1. teej1410's Avatar
      teej1410 -
      Quote Originally Posted by The Man of Sand View Post
      I don't see the big deal in this whole issue about tracking.
      Me too. As long as nobody uses it without my permission then I'm ok with it. I think it'll be cool though to see all the places you've been with your phone.
    1. ugshotgun's Avatar
      ugshotgun -
      I certainly don't have a problem with anyone one of you having a problem with it, that's your right. I've not heard anything from the tracking issue, that would tell me that they're doing anything with this data. I understand that nothing I do is private anymore, there is no "reasonable expectation of privacy" to me when you leave your home and venture out into the public domain, unless of course, they're spying on me in my home.

      Please don't bash me for NOT having an issue with them having a file on "my phone" that tracks where I've been, I'll only have issue with this, when and if, the day comes where I find out that they used this to track me for reason's of maliciousness.

      When I leave my house, the only time I'm worried about someone finding out where I'm going, is when I leave here to go to my girlfriend's house, that my wife could use this to find that out, where I truly am... :-D! jking!!

      Just my humble opinion!

      Chris
    1. finalfantasy's Avatar
      finalfantasy -
      Lol i checked and Yes the iphone records your location but at NO TIME does that info get sent to your provider OR apple. it is stricly stays in your phone and PC. so unless somebody hacks your pc or iphone or you sync on somebody's pc. your FINE.

      so yes this is being blown out of proportion
    1. endwaro's Avatar
      endwaro -
      I dont even bother i know every big company tracks people. You cant do anything about it. You think that option to switch location off is really off? NO!! Its a war you cant win.
      They will keep location info of you, openly or secretly LIVE WITH IT!!!!!
    1. andyharp's Avatar
      andyharp -
      My damn battery would last longer if steve jobs wasn't using up my iphone resources to track me. I could be using that CPU power and memory on something else.
    1. Sibon6's Avatar
      Sibon6 -
      I really don't see this as a bad thing, if your not doing anything wrong then let it track us I kinda see it as another safety feature, if u have a family member or friend that vanishes atleast it's 1 way of tracking there last or continued movements, just like Facebook as soon as u log in it knows exactly where u r and maybe I'm seeing things here from the wrong angle but I see this kinda stuff as a good thing as long as the details are safe from the wrong hands (this is where I get flamed) lol
    1. RICO_'s Avatar
      RICO_ -
      Just a thought....but if federal agencies mandate these built-in back doors that track device locations, then why would Steve Jobs tell that customer that the iPhone is NOT tracking the user's location history?

      Is Apple now violating federal law by not having the tracking system installed?
    1. The Man of Sand's Avatar
      The Man of Sand -
      Quote Originally Posted by Sibon6 View Post
      I really don't see this as a bad thing, if your not doing anything wrong then let it track us I kinda see it as another safety feature, if u have a family member or friend that vanishes atleast it's 1 way of tracking there last or continued movements, just like Facebook as soon as u log in it knows exactly where u r and maybe I'm seeing things here from the wrong angle but I see this kinda stuff as a good thing as long as the details are safe from the wrong hands (this is where I get flamed) lol
      Haven't thought of it like that...
    1. hitman10's Avatar
      hitman10 -
      Why are people so naive? like seriously.. i'm 18 and i can figure out if a HUGE COMPANY/GOVERNEMT w/e wrote it, don't trust it. If you weren't there- it never happened. If you don't do it yourself- then eff it. If you have a problem - then tell someone who cares. It dont matter what people/government/law enforcement do apple can hide/ w/e you wanna call it, into their system (keyloggers) and you have no idea. Like it took how long to figure this one out, and by chance to.. damm apple u messed up. but your security was never a real big issue until recently. but hey.. i'm 18 and may be stupid.. but i read the past.. and make an educated guesstimation on what I believe.
    1. milkycloud's Avatar
      milkycloud -
      Quote Originally Posted by thevmax View Post
      MOST of us don't want somebody, uninvited, tagging along wherever we go. This hasn't got anything to do with doing illegal things; we don't live in China and what we do on our own time is our own business !
      Your stupid comment about China is totally uneccessary. Stupid Yanks.
    1. steeda763's Avatar
      steeda763 -
      I'm surprised nobody brought up the fact that each picture you take with your iPhone is geotagged. People that take pictures of their children and post them on certain photo-sharing sites are unwittingly allowing public access to information on where their children have been.

      Not applicable to sites which are private and/or process the images, of course.
    1. Mes's Avatar
      Mes -
      ^True. One more thing concerned parents should think about. Be very careful about posting on the web, including picture
    1. Forgoten Dynasty's Avatar
      Forgoten Dynasty -
      People are stupid. Apple does not collect the information. And even if they did they would only use it to help mobile providers map out their coverage and ultimately better suite you.

      You think apple cares whether you were cheating on your wife last Saturday? No, They want to know if you had service while doing it.

      People who are upset by this need to get a grip of reality and realize that a multi-billion dollar company is not going to call mommy to tell on you for sneaking out.

      If you think that this information is going to be used against you for legal reasons then I would suggest to stop being a scumbag and don't put yourself in a position where the court of law is going to try to use it. If you still believe that this is even remotely an issue then try this scenario on for size:
      Leave your phone at home. Go commit a murder, Then try to use your consolidated.db file to prove your innocents. Guarantee it gets you nowhere.
    1. Mes's Avatar
      Mes -
      Quote Originally Posted by Forgoten Dynasty View Post
      ....
      My friend, you are far too trusting. An honorable quality, but likely to bite you when you least expect it.

      There's a saying: Trust ...but... verify.
    1. creasy425's Avatar
      creasy425 -
      Quote Originally Posted by unison999 View Post
      Yeah I drive a stock Subaru Impreza automatic for work had a stock Skyline R35 for fun but swapped it for Mercedes because Skyline was too much fun
      Unless you have pics of the r35, I'm calling shenanigans ;-).
    1. RICO_'s Avatar
      RICO_ -
      Quote Originally Posted by creasy425 View Post
      Unless you have pics of the r35, I'm calling shenanigans ;-).
      He'll probably just Photoshop a pic. I call BS simply based on the fact that if he DID actually own an R35 then he would know that Nissan did not adopt the "Skyline" tag for the R35 GTR.

      And who the hell trades in a car because it's "too much fun.". That's like saying you stopped having sex because it feels to damn good.
    1. creasy425's Avatar
      creasy425 -
      Quote Originally Posted by RICO_ View Post
      And who the hell trades in a car because it's "too much fun.". That's like saying you stopped having sex because it feels to damn good.
      I actually did once. Had to sell my 12 sec. crx many moons ago. I cried.
    1. CaptainChaos's Avatar
      CaptainChaos -
      Even if the cellphone maker isn't tracking you, your cellphone service provider is and always will be. Should Apple be? Not without explicit consent. And not the kind of consent they instituted last year with "If we can't know your location you can't download anymore apps". The tracking is very convenient for location aware apps, but should not be transferred in any way, shape, or form to my computers or theirs.
    1. area51crypto's Avatar
      area51crypto -
      Quote Originally Posted by teej1410 View Post
      Me too. As long as nobody uses it without my permission then I'm ok with it. I think it'll be cool though to see all the places you've been with your phone.
      That would be the problem people are having with this as Apple can get this information and use it and WITHOUT your permission

      Quote Originally Posted by CaptainChaos View Post
      Even if the cellphone maker isn't tracking you, your cellphone service provider is and always will be. Should Apple be? Not without explicit consent. And not the kind of consent they instituted last year with "If we can't know your location you can't download anymore apps". The tracking is very convenient for location aware apps, but should not be transferred in any way, shape, or form to my computers or theirs.
      Very well said