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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