The Washington Post has reported that Apple and a few other companies are planing to inform users of secret data data requests from law enforcement agencies. Apple, Microsoft, Facebook and Google all believe that users have a right to know when when their information is being targeted for government seizure.
1. Why is Apple tracking the location of my iPhone?
Apple is not tracking the location of your iPhone. Apple has never done so and has no plans to ever do so.
The big hubbub that arose last week around location tracking within the iPhone has now received its due response from Apple itself. Firstly, the Cupertino company claims it does not, and has no plans to, track users’ iPhones. What it’s actually doing is “maintaining a database of Wi-Fi hotspots and cell towers around your current location,” which are then used to provide speedier calculation of your position when you want to use the device’s maps or other location-based services. The data collection that was recently brought to the public attention represents, according to Apple, the location of WiFi hotspots and cell towers around you, not your actual iPhone. Still, the fact iPhones have been shown to store as much as a year’s worth of data is considered a bug by Apple, who plans to limit that period to a week in a future software update. The additional issue of data being collected after users turned off Location Services is also a bug, also to be fixed by Apple in that upcoming update. Left unanswered, however, are the questions of when Apple “uncovered” these bugs, as it claims, and why the fix for them is only coming now. Specialists have known about this behavior since at least September of last year. Either way, the software remedy is promised over the next few weeks, while the next major iteration of iOS should encrypt the cache file that’s been the subject of all the scrutiny. You’ll find the full Q&A after the break.
An executive with Mexican carrier Telcel has suggested that Apple plans to release a revised iPhone 4 with a tweaked antenna design after the company’s free case giveaway expires at the end of September.
Marco Quatorze, director of value added services at Telcel, said that his country will initially receive the same iPhone 4 model that was released in the U.S. and resulted in the “antennagate” controversy. But, in comments he made last week, and discovered by MacRumors, he claimed that revised hardware with an improved antenna design will become available after Sept. 30, when Apple’s iPhone 4 Case Program expires.
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