Archive for May, 2011
iPhone Repair – When news of the iPhone location tracking scandal reached the public in late April, the story went viral and enraged iPhone users and government agencies alike. The protests came as it was discovered that the iPhone keeps a log of everywhere it’s been and stores it on your computer when a user syncs it.
At the core of the issue is the ever-eroding sense of privacy that our digitally linked new world affords. Frantic cries of “Big Brother” and “1984” conspiracy theories were inundating message boards across the Web and the blogosphere was set alight with all manner of speculation and hearsay.
The question everyone seems desperate to answer now that the issue has come to light is – Is this a big deal or not?
First we have to ask ourselves why would Apple program the iPhone to keep a log of its owner’s location history? Apple insists it is part the iPhone GPS feature that tracks where you go in order to make relevant suggestions for you pertaining to your interests and location.
But a lot of people aren’t buying that explanation. They say it opens people up to spam marketing, which follows the same lines as Apple’s explanation only from a differing perspective. Then there is the issue of law enforcement.
Since law enforcement is already using digital and social media to investigate suspected criminal activity, some people fear that a location log records open the public to the possibility of the US becoming more of a police state. But once people began connecting the dots they realized that the tracking was coming from not only the iPhone, but any GPS-enabled device – including smartphones (Android, Palm, iOS, etc.), GPS systems, tablet computers, etc.
But whatever the cause and effect of location tracking on our gadgets, it’s likely here to stay so smartphone operating system developers like Apple and Google are taking steps to ease public concerns of privacy violation.
The Apple iOS is getting a proposed update for the iPhone and iPad that will no longer keep the “consolidated.db” file copies in the iTunes database. If the iPhone Location Services feature is turned off, the files will be deleted. The update will also include increased battery life as well.
Is Apple going far enough to give back the public its sense of smartphone privacy? Is location tracking an issue for you? Let us know what you think. Leave a comment below.