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So, for the last week there has been a huge debate about Apple and their iOS 4 software’s ‘tracking’ ability. For those who don’t know, Apple’s iPhone’s since iOS 4 have been tracking their owners – keeping a file on the phone and on any computer the deveice has been synced with that records the whereabouts of the phones owner.

Clearly the clandestine nature of this applicaiton indicates Apple’s own stance; that this is fundamentally unethical and that they are doing something that their customers would strongly disagree with.

That’s all fine, its all fairly cut and dry. The sooner an open source iOS reaches the same level of proficiency of say, Linux on computers, I’ll make the switch. The big question that I want to consider, and I would hope others with an interest in technology and society would consider it too, is ‘What is Apple doing when it stores the information of younger users?’

Essentially, for kids and younger teenagers who own iPhones, Apple has been tracking them. Apple has in fact been surveilling children and legal minors. While some older users or parents may not have an issue with their own whereabouts being tracked, I’m sure they would take issue with someone, anyone, compiling a list of their kids’ whereabouts.

So, thoughts?

If you are interested, here’s an app that will allow you see your own whereabouts, you’ll be able to see the information that Apple have captured represented on a map. Its interesting;



    • Brett
    • Posted April 25, 2011 at 8:15 am
    • Permalink

    That’s quite the inflammatory headline. Apple isn’t “surveilling” anyone. There is no evidence that location information is ever relayed to Apple (or anyone else), nor that children are especially targeted.
    (Oh my God! Think of the Children!!!)

    All we know is that there is a file on the iPhone containing a list of cell towers with which the iPhone has communicated. Android phones also do the same thing, although the iPhone apparently retains the data for a longer period.

    One can certainly question the necessity of maintaining such a file, or suggest that it should be purged more frequently or encrypted for security. But to imply that Apple is doing anything unethical or illegal is simply jumping to unfounded conclusions.

  1. Thanks Brett, great answer.

  2. Apple is tracking people. That is 100% true. Just not “officially”.

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