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Apple: "We must Have Comprehensive Location Data" 556

An anonymous reader writes "Apple's iPhone 3G, iPhone 3GS, the iPhone 4, and iPad models are keeping track of consumers whereabouts. Mac computers running Snow Leopard and even Windows computers running Safari 5 are being watched. But the question is why? 'To provide the high quality products and services that its customers demand, Apple must have access to the comprehensive location-based information,' Apple says."
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Apple: "We must Have Comprehensive Location Data"

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  • Think of the users (Score:4, Interesting)

    by nolife ( 233813 ) on Sunday April 24, 2011 @11:58AM (#35921422) Homepage Journal

    Apple is doing it for the users regardless if they want it or not. Why not give them the ability to purge the data let them delete or purge the data regardless if they want it or not. It could be simple option somewhere that does not take away from the pristine user experience.

    I call bullshit on the whole thing anyway. A database of where I was last week/month/year has very little benefit to advertisers. Any benefit it does have is far overshadowed by the users personal privacy of having that data available to Apple and whoever else can access that info. What if my bank account balance was available to them, sure, it would help advertisers but what is the downside to my privacy to give that info up?

    The users do not want this.

  • by wireloose ( 759042 ) on Sunday April 24, 2011 @12:05PM (#35921488)
    Exactly. Google's facing lawsuits from around the world for collecting "private" data. Does Apple face the same issue?
  • by mrxak ( 727974 ) on Sunday April 24, 2011 @12:06PM (#35921502)

    4. Where to put more cell towers.

  • by metrometro ( 1092237 ) on Sunday April 24, 2011 @12:09PM (#35921538)

    I will concede the debate that permanently logged location information is required to run the features consumers want. I think it's false, and I think it's about iAds, but I'll concede it.

    However, the lack of encryption or even simple hashing on this database is inexcusable. Unencrypted copies stored on every computer an iOS device syncs to! Inexcusable, irresponsible, sloppy software. A product which flings around my private data that way is a broken product, regardless of which features it offers. This is a stalkers dream. This will appear in every divorce court (That database is jointly owned property!). This will be used to bully and out gay college roommates (Physical access to your desktop? Yup). This will be used to keep tabs on employees work habits (Have iTunes on a work computer? Burned).

    Apple made terrible software, and they are now informing us that they will continue to do so.

  • by UnknowingFool ( 672806 ) on Sunday April 24, 2011 @02:07PM (#35922436)
    No his argument is that if you are outraged that Apple does it, then you should be outraged that anyone else does it like Google. If you are willing to give Google a free pass but not Apple, then you have a bias.
  • by icebike ( 68054 ) on Sunday April 24, 2011 @02:20PM (#35922532)

    It is also right there on the iPhone. Settings-->General-->Location Services. You can turn them off or on globally and control which apps can use it if you choose to turn them on.

    Except it doesn't work for the tracking database under discussion.

    It still tracks you in the on-phone database. It tracks you using tower triangulation even if you turn the iPhone GPS off.
    And it keeps at least a years worth of info.

    And its stored in an insecure method.

We gave you an atomic bomb, what do you want, mermaids? -- I. I. Rabi to the Atomic Energy Commission