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Apple, after a week of silence, has responded to concerns about the iOS4 tracking issue by posting the “Apple Q&A on Location Data” (for background information, see my post “Stranger than fiction: Apple’s iOS4 is tracking your moves”).

I think Apple is doing the right thing, although several question remain unanswered.

In particular, I find it hard the believe that this was simply ‘a software bug’ that went undetected for months. After all, we’re talking about Apple and this is an important feature. You got to ask how this one could slip by them.

However, if they were aware of the issue, then how could they not disclose it to their users?

I don’t know the answer, but for now I’m giving them the benefit of the doubt.

See also Larry Magid’s article “Apple’s iPhone doublespeak”.

Cheers,

— Terrence

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There is little surprise that Google, too, is tracking your location – after all, that’s key for a company which derives the vast majority of its revenue from targeted advertising.

At least Google is mostly upfront about it while Apple seemingly has decided to go incommunicado on the topic (see my blog: “Stranger than fiction: Apple’s iOS4 is tracking your moves”).

Now, with all that location data and other personal (email, friends, pictures, etc) information being constantly tracked, stored, and analyzed – why would you care?

As far as I am concerned, it boils down to overreaching lawmakers and overzealous law enforcement as well as criminal activity (Wired Magazine has a good article on the topic). Historically, for a number of different groups of people, this personalized data about you and your life has just been too tempting to leave alone.

Think it can’t happen to you? Check out these recent incidents.

Cheers,

— Terrence

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Sometimes, real life is stranger than fiction.

Recently, I blogged about how the German operator Deutsche Telekom tracked and stored the location and activities of the cell phone of German politician Malte Spitz for months (“Betrayed By Our Own Data”).

Now, it turns out, Apple’s iOS4 is doing the same . Continuously logging the location of your iOS4 device, in the background and without your knowledge. In plain view for all to see on the phone and any computer you’ve synced your device with.

I’m not sure what to make of this. But at the very, very least Apple should have told iOS4 users in bold letters it is doing this and protect the information against 3rd party access.

I’m looking forward to seeing how Apple handle this one.

Cheers,

— Terrence

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