iPhone Tracking Creates Controversy

iPhone 'jailbreaking' Prevents Coordinates From Being Recorded

Big Brother is watching you, but it is not who you might think. Although privacy concerns often times arise from government policy in Washington, this privacy problem is coming from Cupertino, CA, the headquarters of Apple. It was discovered last week that the iPhone is set up to track a user’s location at all times, even without the expressed permission of the user.

Some people thought that the tracking could be turned off if the location services feature was disabled, but tests by the Wall Street Journal suggest that this is not the case. Indeed, it appears that there is nothing that Apple iPhone users can do to stop the tracking, legally. There is an unauthorized app, known as Untrackerd, that will prevent your coordinates from being recorded. But this can only be done if the operating system of the iPhone is unlocked, known in the technology community as “jailbreaking.”

Apple has been typically quiet about the situation and few people seem to have any idea as to why they are tracking their customers every move. Some people suggest that Apple is attempting to obtain information on the location of cell phone towers and Wi-Fi hot spots. Alternatively, some experts believe that Apple is recording information on user locations in order to better tailor future services offered to them, much in the way companies like Foursquare do now.

The iPhone licensing agreement does state that the phone may track your location. But many are still upset over the practice and the government is now taking notice. Senator Al Franken of Minnesota just sent a two page letter to Apple CEO Steve Jobs demanding answers concerning the tracking.

Posted by Christopher Miller on April 25, 2011 at 8:11 pm. Filled under Technology.