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Thread: Apple Answers Geo-Data Questions
07-20-2010, 12:12 PM #1
Apple Answers Geo-Data Questions
In response to questions raised by two US House members, Ed Markey (D-MA) and Joe Barton (R-TX), Apple general counsel and senior vice president of legal and government affairs Bruce Sewell has written a 13-page letter explaining how the company uses geographic data collected from its mobile and desktop devices. In the midst of all the corporate-speak and assurances there are a few interesting details about what information Apple obtains, and who they share it with.
In the response, Apple chief lawyer Sewell lets slip the fact that Apple had been sharing geo-data with both Google and Skyhook, who provided location services to pre-iPad versions of iPhone OS. In iOS 3.2 and newer versions, Apple is using its own geographic information servers to determine the location of Apple devices. Their database, which is supposedly stripped of all identifying information, includes geo-coords for cell towers, WiFi access points, and iDevice GPS chips. Sewell says the company doesn't collect SSIDs or any IDs from the GPS chips, which are batched, encrypted and transmitted to the main database in a block once every 12 hours. iPhones and iPads generate a random ID every 24 hours, which reportedly cannot be used to identify a specific device.
Sewell also says that the geo-coords collected from a mobile device with iAd location sharing enabled is converted immediately into a five-digit US ZIP Code, and the latitude and longitude information is deleted, leaving only the ZIP. He claims that the company will store that data for six months just so that users won't have to see from seeing duplicate ads. After that, the data is "aggregated" into regional data, with even specific ZIP codes removed.
In a Knowledge Base article, Apple explains that users can opt-out of iAd's location and interest-based ad serving by going to http://oo.apple.com/ and waiting for the "You have successfully opted out" message. They warn, however, that ads may then "may be less relevant because they will not be based on your interests." Oh noes.
Source: Cult of Mac
Last edited by Paul Daniel Ash; 07-20-2010 at 12:18 PM.
The Following User Says Thank You to Paul Daniel Ash For This Useful Post:
07-20-2010, 12:15 PM #2
07-20-2010, 12:17 PM #3
07-20-2010, 12:18 PM #4
Opting out sounds good...but there's still a trick to the geo location I believe :P
07-20-2010, 12:27 PM #5
lol u cant really opt out your gonna get ads anyway, opting out just wont make the ads specific to your interests and your search words
07-20-2010, 12:40 PM #6
Dear White House,
We will be taking over the world beginning on August 1 2010. All military devices And electronics will run on Apple iOS 10.0. Any attempt to resist will result in annihilation.
P.S. - We have sent your entire staff a complimentary iPhone 4 in exchange for your services rendered. We'll take it from here. Good day.
Last edited by RICO_; 07-20-2010 at 12:49 PM.
07-20-2010, 12:55 PM #7
07-20-2010, 01:01 PM #8
Who cares? This seems rather safe to me. And frankly, if I have no choice about receiving ads, which I don't, I'd rather they be relevant to my interests. Stop complaining and move along.
07-20-2010, 01:13 PM #9
07-20-2010, 01:30 PM #10
Ads not based on my interest? God I don't think any phone ads are based on my interest. I think what they really mean is the pointless ads won't be based on services in your general geographical location. Pffff. %^!
07-20-2010, 01:32 PM #11
07-20-2010, 01:58 PM #12
07-20-2010, 02:12 PM #13
07-20-2010, 02:12 PM #14
I'm opt out using the oo.apple.com. Not sure if it work.
07-20-2010, 02:16 PM #15
oo.apple.com tells me I'm not running iOS4.
Opting out isn't that easy.
07-20-2010, 02:40 PM #16
Successfully opted out. It is very easy
07-20-2010, 02:59 PM #17
07-20-2010, 05:27 PM #18
stalker much?Name? whereswaldo
iDevice + Firmware? 32GB Black iPhone 4 iOS 5.0
Computer + OS? Dell Inspiron 15R 2nd Gen i5, 2.3 Ghz, 750GB HDD, 8GB RAM Windows 7 HP
Found yet? No
07-20-2010, 06:02 PM #19
07-20-2010, 07:21 PM #20
Looks like the politicians who have iPhones are skurred... So now when they cheat lie and steel they can be traced to whose house they were at when they were committing adultery. LMAO.