iPhone Tracking Customers: Steve Jobs Pipes Up

As an iPhone user, myself I was very concerned when reports came in that my handset had a secret tracker device installed and that my every move could be monitored. However, Steve Jobs founder of Apple is now denying iOS devices are tracking users, whilst indicating that Android devices do.

On MacRumors, Apple’s blog there has been published an email exchange that is said to be between Steve Jobs and a disgruntled Apple customer. The customer asked, “Could you please explain the necessity of the passive location-tracking tool embedded in my iPhone?” “It’s kind of unnerving knowing that my exact location is being recorded at all times. Maybe you could shed some light on this for me before I switch to a Droid. They don’t track me.”

Jobs reportedly replied “Oh yes they do.” “We don’t track anyone. The info circulating around is false.” Apple has yet to verify the exchange or to comment on the privacy scandal last week, when two British researchers found that for almost a year the devices were tracking customer movements

We reported on iPhones having secret tracking software on April 20th, 2011. Apparently, the glitch logs the users GPS co-ordinates to the nearest mobile tower along with timestamps, in a secret file on the devices and any computer that they connect to. Therefore, anyone can gather the information.

In an article by news.com they have reported on a blog post by researchers Alasdair Allan and Pete Warden, which said “The more fundamental problem is that Apple are collecting this information at all. Providers collect similar data almost inevitably as part of their operations, but it’s kept behind their firewall. It normally requires a court order to gain access to it, whereas this is available to anyone who can get their hands on your phone or computer.”

On April 25th, The Wall Street Journal reported that even when “location services” were switched off the iPhones still collected the location information. It would appear now that Apple and Google have to face the Senate over mobile privacy — see our article here. Please leave us your comments on this situation below.

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