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All posts tagged "location services"


Wednesday, May 4, 2011

iOS 4.3.3/4.2.8 Updates Available Now

Posted by Jeff Campbell in "Apple Software (iPhone/iPod Touch/iPad)" @ 02:30 PM

http://gigaom.com/apple/apple-relea...tion-bug-fixes/

"Apple released iOS 4.3.3 (and iOS 4.2.8 for Verizon iPhones) Wednesday, which brings changes in the way location information is stored and backed up, as well as a number of other fixes and improvements."

This update fixes the location database, reducing the size of the cache, stops the backup being done to iTunes, and deletes the cache completely when you turn off Location Services. You can get the direct downlinks from OS X Daily, or just use the software update feature. There are also some battery life improvements in 4.3.3 for good measure.


Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Steve Jobs: "We Haven't Been Tracking Anyone."

Posted by Michael Knutson in "Apple Talk" @ 10:30 PM

http://mobilized.allthingsd.com/201...on-information/

"Apple CEO Steve Jobs said Wednesday that the iPhone database that people have assumed was their personal information was, in fact, the relevant chunk of a global crowdsourced database that the company uses to deliver location-based information."

As I suspected, this mysterious database in iPhones is used for location-based services, and follows Apple's policies on how location information is used. Apple did admit that this whole controversy did turn up a bug on Apple's end, their response being that this will be fixed, and that a smaller amount of data will be stored on devices. Jobs also mentioned that location services is required to be enabled, and each app must be explicitly authorized. As is often the case with technology, and technology bugs, unintended consequences result, and will be fixed. And we move on ...


Wednesday, April 20, 2011

No Big Surprise: iPad 3G and iPhone Tracking and Recording Location

Posted by Michael Knutson in "Apple Talk" @ 09:30 AM

http://radar.oreilly.com/2011/04/ap...n-tracking.html

"Today at Where 2.0 Pete Warden and I will announce the discovery that your iPhone, and your 3G iPad, is regularly recording the position of your device into a hidden file. Ever since iOS 4 arrived, your device has been storing a long list of locations and time stamps. We're not sure why Apple is gathering this data, but it's clearly intentional, as the database is being restored across backups, and even device migrations."

Another tempest in a teapot. This article is based on information discussed back in January 2011 in Forensic Focus ( http://www.forensicfocus.com/index.php?name=Forums&file=viewtopic&t=7012 ), and is really not a new discovery. iDevices contain a file called consolidated.db, with a time stamp and location coordinates (but no personally identifiable data) saved. This file is maintained and is possibly used for location services and could be how "Find my iPhone" works. I wonder if the authors understand that location services don't work by magic, but rely on collecting and recording your location. Clearly their recommendation that iDevice backups be encrypted (with a strong password) is a good suggestion, but their implication that something sinister "may" be happening smacks of paranoia to me.


Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Apple's Location-Based Data Collection Explanation Satisfies Congress

Posted by Michael Knutson in "Apple iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad" @ 10:30 AM

http://www.macworld.com/article/152...l?lsrc=rss_main

"When congress calls, Apple answers. According to CNet, Apple general counsel and senior vice president of legal and government affairs, Bruce Sewell, has sent two congressmen a 13-page letter detailing the whys and wherefores of Apple's policies and procedures for collecting location-based data."

iPhone users have expressed privacy concerns over Apple's practice of collecting location-based data for use in applications and advertising. Congress was listening, and asked Apple to explain their policies and procedures. Apple's 13-page response described in detail how everything works, including their privacy policies, and how latitide and longitude information is converted to a ZIP code for use by iAds and Apps. In iOS 3.2 and later, information is stored in Apple's own proprietary format using information that they've collected from cell towers and WiFi access points - they no longer use Google or Skyhook Wireless databases. They stressed that personally-identifyable data is -not- stored anywhere. Congress seemed to be satisfied with Apple's responses - for now.


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