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15 Feb 2012 15:23


Tech: Apple affirms that Path violated their terms, issues iOS update fix

  • Apps that collect or transmit a user’s contact data without their prior permission are in violation of our guidelines. We’re working to make this even better for our customers, and as we have done with location services, any app wishing to access contact data will require explicit user approval in a future software release.
  • Apple spokesman Tom Neumayr • In a statement about Apple’s privacy policies, as pertaining to the iPhone. This statement came hot on the heels of the revelation that two Democratic congressman (G.K. Butterfield and Henry A. Waxman) had sent a letter to Apple CEO Tim Cook, requesting information about privacy permissions. The inciting incident here was the iPhone app Path, which was revealed to be uploading users’ address books to their company servers without asking permission, or offering any notification. Path tried to curb the controversy by apologizing and offering an opt-out, but  the damage to their credibility (and, by association, Apple’s) had already hit. And amidst word that a number of widely-used apps — most notably Twitterdid the same thing, Apple has affirmed that what Path did was a violation of their privacy practices, and has released an update for iOS that allows users to delete the database by switching off location services. source

27 Apr 2011 09:31


Tech: Apple responds: We’re not tracking your location, just your cell tower

  • The iPhone is not logging your location. Rather, it’s maintaining a database of Wi-Fi hotspots and cell towers around your current location, some of which may be located more than one hundred miles away from your iPhone, to help your iPhone rapidly and accurately calculate its location when requested.
  • A statement from Apple • Revealing exactly what we pointed out last week — that Apple isn’t tracking where you are, but trying to locate your cell tower quickly. The big thing, though, is that Apple will release a software update that addresses the part of this problem — which is the crux of what the whole issue was. The next major update will encrypt it. Non-story becomes non-story again. source

21 Apr 2011 10:01


Tech: Apple’s iPhone location-tracking fiasco: Not as bad as it looks

  • [Apple may] collect and transmit cell tower and Wi-Fi Access point information automatically [from your device]. This information is batched and then encrypted and transmitted to Apple over a secure Wi-Fi Internet connection every twelve hours.
  • A 2010 letter from Apple • Explaining why the whole “Apple spying on users” thing is a non-issue. Simply put: It’s not about you. It’s about cell towers. Want to read an explanation about what they’re doing? Read this letter they sent to Congressmen Ed Markey and Joe Barton way back in June of last year. PC World makes a good point about all this, though: “But the database on your computer is sitting there unencrypted in an easily discoverable location. This means the database is a potential target for malware or even law enforcement if the authorities should decide to seize and search your PC.” Even if Apple continues to do this (which you can turn off by snapping off “Location Services” on your phone’s settings), they should fix that part of the problem. source