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  • Apple Knows (and Tells) Where You Are

    According to Apple’s new privacy policy, the company claims the right to obtain “the real-time geographic location of your Apple computer or device” and share it with “partners and licensees.” Nicole Martinelli over at Cult of Mac reports on an LA Times story highlighting the change in the document, which specifically mentions the Find My iPhone app as an example, but is carefully vague about whether Apple collects your location data even when that app or any other location aware app is running. Apple has not responded my request for comment yet.

    Though Apple says the data is all “collected anonymously in a form that does not personally identify you,” there is no way of opting out of having your location data collected: by clicking OK on Terms and Conditions when you install Apple software, you are explicitly giving Apple the right to let its partners know where you are and where you've been. I've also asked Apple if turning off Location Services (under Settings:General) will prevent any data from being collected (of course, this would also cripple Maps and any other location-aware app).

    The New "Location-based Services" section in Apple's Privacy Policy reads, in part:

    To provide location-based services on Apple products, Apple and our partners and licensees may collect, use, and share precise location data, including the real-time geographic location of your Apple computer or device. This location data is collected anonymously in a form that does not personally identify you and is used by Apple and our partners and licensees to provide and improve location-based products and services. For example, we may share geographic location with application providers when you opt in to their location services.
    Some location-based services offered by Apple, such as the MobileMe “Find My iPhone” feature, require your personal information for the feature to work.
    As many have noted, Google has been doing this from the start with Android, so maybe it's not that much to worry about. Still, Apple has been pulling patents for location-based ad services, for example, that could become increasingly intrusive, and it seems like opting out isn't as straightforward as we've been led to believe.
    This article was originally published in forum thread: Apple Knows (and Tells) Where You Are started by Paul Daniel Ash View original post
    Comments 32 Comments
    1. TheDirtyDiddler's Avatar
      TheDirtyDiddler -

      What's for lunch?
    1. one1's Avatar
      one1 -
      Little Snitch - Ports blocked.
    1. tremerone's Avatar
      tremerone -
      Playing the Santa role I see.........
      ...and here I thought Jesus was the only other one who could see me during my "special" alone times.
    1. law111's Avatar
      law111 -
      Well see I think the HTC incredible has weather that can update to where you are, is this something that would work like that?
    1. Imsorussian's Avatar
      Imsorussian -
      Everybody knows where everyone is why not apple? Please who cares well if u not a criminal or a child molester why would u care if apple knows where u go? Btw apple ill be at apple store in thursday so im giving u headsup
    1. law111's Avatar
      law111 -
      I mean how cool would it be to, well still be able to open the weather app and have any weather you choose, but to have the icon animated and updated to where you currently are, where ever you may be.. idk I've thought about it and think it'd be a really cool addition to the weather app.
    1. screamforme02's Avatar
      screamforme02 -
      Of course they do. haha. im sure the jailbreakers and the devs will have a switch in sbsettings just like with the remote kill of an app apple liked to use
    1. mikerlx's Avatar
      mikerlx -
      It's cool feature like anything else has Pros and Cons (no pun intended)
    1. rhekt's Avatar
      rhekt -
      even though this still seems like an intrusion. i can see where this would be in the long run a very convenient feature.
    1. jacobthejokester's Avatar
      jacobthejokester -
      One step closer to big brother.
    1. FireMedic92's Avatar
      FireMedic92 -
      Just reading your comments is making me ROFL, seriously! Esp Tremerone! Omg voyeurism at it's best! Fwap fwap fwap
    1. alectra82's Avatar
      alectra82 -
      as long as they cant remotely view my camera while I am facetime fapping with friends.
    1. johnr9412's Avatar
      johnr9412 -
      haha maybe this is their way of preventing another gizmodo incident
    1. infin's Avatar
      infin -
      Question about their location service, does anyone know if i lost my phone, it will fid it even if someome else put their sim in it and also jaik broke it? Does it use the phone id?
    1. cpkirkley's Avatar
      cpkirkley -
      Quote Originally Posted by rhekt View Post
      even though this still seems like an intrusion. i can see where this would be in the long run a very convenient feature.
      The thing is - where do we draw the line with what is acceptable? Sure this may not seem like a big deal, but what is the next step?

      Put a frog in a bot of boiling water, and it will leap away immediately. Put that same frog in lukewarm water, and slowly raise the temperature to boiling, and the frog will very comfortably roast to death.
    1. CaptainChaos's Avatar
      CaptainChaos -
      This is unacceptable. If I choose to share my location it is one thing, but if it is forced on me it is down right despicable.
    1. whereswaldo's Avatar
      whereswaldo -
      control freak much?
    1. Happy Noodle Boy's Avatar
      Happy Noodle Boy -
      Guys, literally EVERYONE (I mean everyone - google, admob, 100% of advertisement) knows your location. Ever been on a computer and gotten a local ad? They didn't guess where you live. Google is KING of this.

      They don't pinpoint your location right to your bathroom during happy time. They can only access a general idea (city/zip code is as close as most get) and deliver ads based on that.

      Also, 4.0 introduced the new GPS notification on the top bar. If ANYTHING is using GPS you'll be able to know. You can even block apps from accessing it and anything that could potentially use this (through iAds or whaever) will ask permission to use your location as it always has.

      This is a non-issue in a non-story because it's how the web advertising has worked for YEARS. This isn't new at all and I fail to see why we need two threads/articles on the same frigging topic.

      The sensationalist title doesn't help either.
    1. creasy425's Avatar
      creasy425 -
      this does bring back some memories of the first time i read "1984"
    1. nautical79's Avatar
      nautical79 -
      Big Brother has more tools in its hands, whats nexts micro chips installed on our bodyes. haha ha ha, why is nobody laughin.