Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Bug bites Apple and tracks users

A small number of customers are suing Apple following the tracking issues of its devices - they claim that the company’s location-based services have put them at risk of privacy invasion and stalking.

Apple has been under attack since it admitted that the iPhone and iPad contained a record of everywhere users had been.

The company has now blamed a bug for tracking users locations even when the Location Services was turned of – resulting in Wi-Fi data constantly being updated. Apple was adamant that it had never, and would never, track users locations.

“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," said the company.

Apple will be releasing free iOS software to prevent the devices from storing location-based information once the services are switched off. However, the incident has raised questions in high places.

Congress want an explanation from not only Apple, but also Google, as to what exactly is compiled from the increasingly powerful smartphones. The security and privacy of the user has to be maintained – something that most users probably have previously taken for granted.

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