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Thread: Apple Answers Geo-Data Questions

  1. #1
    MMi Staff Writer Paul Daniel Ash's Avatar
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    Default 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.

    On June 24, the chairmen of the US House Bi-Partisan Privacy Caucus, Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) and Joe Barton (R-Texas), sent a letter to Steve Jobs asking about Apple's updated privacy policy that acknowledged for the first time that Apple is collecting, storing and sharing geo-data.“Given the limited ability of Apple users to opt out of the revised policy and still be able to take advantage of the features of their Apple products," the representatives wrote, "we are concerned about the impact the collection of such data could have on the privacy of Apple’s customers."

    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.

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  5. #4
    Opting out sounds good...but there's still a trick to the geo location I believe :P

  6. #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

  7. #6
    Livin the iPhone Life
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    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.

    Sincerely,

    --Apple

    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.

    :-P
    Last edited by RICO_; 07-20-2010 at 12:49 PM.

  8. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by RICO_ View Post
    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
    --Apple

    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.:-P
    Does this not remind you of Cyberdine and SkyNet? It does to me! LoL

  9. #8
    My iPhone is a Part of Me politicalslug's Avatar
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    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.

  10. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by RICO_ View Post
    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.

    Sincerely,

    --Apple

    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.

    :-P
    Now I needed that laugh today
    Thanks RICO

  11. #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. %^!

  12. #11
    iPhone? More like MyPhone macsoldier's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rico_ View Post
    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.

    Sincerely,

    --apple

    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.



    :-p
    well put id love to have apple running everything lol

  13. #12
    Livin the iPhone Life
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    Quote Originally Posted by macsoldier View Post
    well put id love to have apple running everything lol
    Maybe they already are and we just don't know it.

    :-/

    I saw a buddy of mine's brand new MacBook Pro and all of a sudden I wanted one to. F**kin Apple has infected me with their brain-washing nanobots.

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    Livin the iPhone Life tudtran's Avatar
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    I'm opt out using the oo.apple.com. Not sure if it work.

  16. #15
    oo.apple.com tells me I'm not running iOS4.

    Opting out isn't that easy.

  17. #16
    Successfully opted out. It is very easy

  18. #17
    Livin the iPhone Life adp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bsltiger View Post
    oo.apple.com tells me I'm not running iOS4.

    Opting out isn't that easy.
    It is easy. You just have to go to that site from your iDevice, not your PC/Mac
    If I helped you out, please use the Thanks button ------------------------->

  19. #18
    stalker much?
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    Found yet? No

  20. #19
    My iPhone is a Part of Me JazJon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by vantheman169 View Post
    There's an app to cure Aids? That's great news!

  21. #20
    My iPhone is a Part of Me kuhndsn's Avatar
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    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.

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