Apple has been in a bit of a firestorm lately after iPhone users have accused it of storing years of location data — apparently, Apple was secretly keeping track of where iPhone users go and where they’ve been, like some Big Brother.
(We at Technoodling weren’t too concerned. We love being tracked. We’re techxibitionists that way…)
But not so fast. Apple has finally issued a response.
In a ten-point press memo, Apple has clarified that the data that was discovered being logged into iPhones and being stored via iTunes was not “tracking data,” but rather a continuously updating list of active Wi-Fi hotspots that iPhone users get close to. And the purpose for this, Apple says, is that it is using an algorithm for constantly refining its location tracking abilities.
Just to clarify: they’re not keeping track of you. They’re helping you know where you are.
Apple says that GPS takes way too long to kick in. So if you’re an impatient iPhone user, this hotspot-tracking feature actually benefits you by triangulating your position much faster using the locations of nearby Wi-Fi and cell tower transmitters. In other words, all those data points that are logged actually function as crowd-sourced data for refining location spotting.
You can read Apple’s ten-point Q&A clarification here.
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