April 21 2011

Apple Grilled Over iPhone Data Collection

So we’ve known for some time that Big Brother is watching, but when it gets thrown in our face, people get a little more upset.

That seems to be the case among iPhone owners who have discovered that their smartphones keep track of a user’s location and saves it to a file stored on the iPhone and any computer to which they sync the phone.

As of today, Apple hasn’t released any official comment about this data store, which was discovered by security researchers Pete Warden and Alasdair Allan.

Warden and Allan said there’s no evidence that the data is transferred to Apple or any other third party.

Apple Says It Collects Data

But Apple told lawmakers last year that they collect such information. The Wall Street Journal mentioned a letter the company sent to U.S. Reps. Edward Markey and Joe Barton explaining that location data is collected from iPhones when the smartphones’ location services are turned on. The WSJ noted that those services are turned on by default, referencing information from Apple’s website.

According to the letter, “This information is batched and then encrypted and transmitted to Apple over a Wi-Fi Internet connection every twelve hours…”

Is this an invasion of privacy, or no big deal? Tell us what you think.

posted by
Douglas Malan
Douglas Malan
Senior Writer

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