Register FAQ / Rules Forum Spy Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read
Go Back   MacRumors Forums > News and Article Discussion > MacRumors.com News Discussion

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old Apr 25, 2011, 08:47 AM   #1
MacRumors
macrumors bot
 
Join Date: Apr 2001
Steve Jobs on iOS Location Issue: 'We Don't Track Anyone'






There has obviously been a lot of discussion about last week's disclosure that iOS devices are maintaining an easily-accessible database tracking the movements of users dating back to the introduction of iOS 4 a year ago. The issue has garnered the attention of U.S. elected officials and has played fairly heavily in the mainstream press.

One MacRumors reader emailed Apple CEO Steve Jobs asking for clarification on the issue while hinting about a switch to Android if adequate explanations are not forthcoming. Jobs reportedly responded, turning the tables by claiming both that Apple does not track users and that Android does while referring to the information about iOS shared in the media as "false".
Quote:
Q: Steve,

Could you please explain the necessity of the passive location-tracking tool embedded in my iPhone? It's kind of unnerving knowing that my exact location is being recorded at all times. Maybe you could shed some light on this for me before I switch to a Droid. They don't track me.

A: Oh yes they do. We don't track anyone. The info circulating around is false.

Sent from my iPhone
As is Jobs' usual style, his brief comments provide little detail or information to support his claims, and his vagueness leaves things rather open to interpretation.

Android has been shown to also gather location information, but the database is limited to a much smaller list of entries and is regularly wiped by the system. Jobs' email seems to explicitly claim, however, that Google's location information is used to track users while Apple's is not.

Apple responded to some questions about location tracking and privacy last July, noting that users have the ability to turn off location services entirely and that all location features require explicit authorization from the user. The Wall Street Journal has found, however, that this newly-publicized database is constructed even when location services are turned off entirely.
Quote:
The Journal tested the collection of data on an iPhone 4 that had been restored to factory settings and was running the latest version of Apple's iOS operating system.

The Journal disabled location services (which are on by default) and immediately recorded the data that had initially been gathered by the phone. The Journal then carried the phone to new locations and observed the data. Over the span of several hours as the phone was moved, it continued to collect location data from new places.
As many observers have noted, the iOS location database does not record exact GPS data, instead seeking to pinpoint the locations of Wi-Fi access points and cell towers that the device comes within range of, although the database does offer a clear general track of a user's movements.

In the meantime, government agencies in a number of countries have launched investigations into the situation, seeking explanations from Apple and details on how users can protect their privacy.

Article Link: Steve Jobs on iOS Location Issue: 'We Don't Track Anyone'
MacRumors is offline   2 Reply With Quote
Old Apr 25, 2011, 08:50 AM   #2
Arcus
macrumors 6502a
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: of my hand will get me slapped.
Quote:
The info circulating around is false.
So Steve is saying there is no database of locations? Thats just an outright lie.
__________________
SE30 | Bondi Blu iMac | iBook G3 700 - 384 Megs 40gig |5th gen iPod 30gig Video | 17" 2.0 CD2 iMac |20" 2.16 CD2 iMac |5gb 1st Gen iPhone |16gb 4th Gen iPhone
Arcus is offline   -23 Reply With Quote
Old Apr 25, 2011, 08:50 AM   #3
levitynyc
macrumors 6502a
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
"We don't track anyone."

Sent from your backyard.
levitynyc is offline   12 Reply With Quote
Old Apr 25, 2011, 08:51 AM   #4
miles01110
macrumors 604
 
miles01110's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
Yes. I'm sure that consolidated.db just appeared randomly and it's all a huge media conspiracy.
__________________
Got a problem? Check here first.
miles01110 is offline   -12 Reply With Quote
Old Apr 25, 2011, 08:51 AM   #5
Fuchal
macrumors 68000
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Quote:
Originally Posted by Arcus View Post
So Steve is saying there is no database of locations? Thats just an outright lie.
No, he's saying Apple does not track your location. There has been no evidence that any of the location information leaves your phone/computer. Whether that file should exist or not is another debate.
Fuchal is offline   26 Reply With Quote
Old Apr 25, 2011, 08:52 AM   #6
thederby
macrumors regular
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Austin, TX
Quote:
Originally Posted by Arcus View Post
So Steve is saying there is no database of locations? Thats just an outright lie.
there's a big difference between the device knowing where it is/has been and that information actually being uploaded to "the mothership".
__________________
-- derby
thederby is offline   25 Reply With Quote
Old Apr 25, 2011, 08:53 AM   #7
applefanDrew
macrumors 65816
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_3_2 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/533.17.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.0.2 Mobile/8H7 Safari/6533.18.5)

I don't get the big deal about it. If you want to be anonymous, get off fb, twitter, macrumors, etc. Then cancel all Internet plans you have and your cellular plan. Then no one will ever know where you are unless you tell them.
__________________
Check out my app: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/ligh...439464806?mt=8
applefanDrew is offline   18 Reply With Quote
Old Apr 25, 2011, 08:55 AM   #8
sinsin07
macrumors 68020
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Quote:
Originally Posted by Arcus View Post
So Steve is saying there is no database of locations? Thats just an outright lie.
There is a lot of information circulating. Without knowing what he is referring to exactly your statement is outright bogus.
sinsin07 is offline   4 Reply With Quote
Old Apr 25, 2011, 08:56 AM   #9
aristobrat
macrumors Demi-God
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Virginia Beach
Quote:
Originally Posted by Arcus View Post
So Steve is saying there is no database of locations? Thats just an outright lie.
No. Re-read the three sentences he typed. He said that Apple is not tracking anyone. That infers that the database of locations is not being used to track a users location.
aristobrat is offline   16 Reply With Quote
Old Apr 25, 2011, 08:57 AM   #10
applefanDrew
macrumors 65816
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_3_2 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/533.17.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.0.2 Mobile/8H7 Safari/6533.18.5)

Quote:
Originally Posted by aristobrat
Quote:
Originally Posted by Arcus View Post
So Steve is saying there is no database of locations? Thats just an outright lie.
No. Re-read the three sentences he typed. He said that Apple is not tracking anyone. That infers that the database of locations is not being used to track a users location.
Which is obvious since it's not using the GPS.
__________________
Check out my app: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/ligh...439464806?mt=8
applefanDrew is offline   -3 Reply With Quote
Old Apr 25, 2011, 08:57 AM   #11
Mattstkc
macrumors 6502a
 
Mattstkc's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Chicago, IL
Quote:
Originally Posted by applefanDrew View Post
Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_3_2 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/533.17.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.0.2 Mobile/8H7 Safari/6533.18.5)

I don't get the big deal about it. If you want to be anonymous, get off fb, twitter, macrumors, etc. Then cancel all Internet plans you have and your cellular plan. Then no one will ever know where you are unless you tell them.
+1. My IP is being logged right now most likely. No matter where you go, using any communication device, you can be tracked. If you're that paranoid, get off the grid. Every phone company tracks your location. This for iPhone users is just a log of it on your phone.

I do agree, however, that the consolidated.db file should at least be encrypted if it is to remain on the device. Now any good crook knows all they need is your iphone to find out when best to rob you.
__________________
Recovering iAddict with a Galaxy S4
Mattstkc is offline   3 Reply With Quote
Old Apr 25, 2011, 08:57 AM   #12
Blipp
macrumors 6502
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Call me naive (or perhaps paranoid) but I've been assuming my location is being tracked since I bought my first smart phone years ago.
Blipp is offline   11 Reply With Quote
Old Apr 25, 2011, 08:58 AM   #13
sinsin07
macrumors 68020
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Quote:
Originally Posted by applefanDrew View Post
Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_3_2 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/533.17.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.0.2 Mobile/8H7 Safari/6533.18.5)

I don't get the big deal about it. If you want to be anonymous, get off fb, twitter, macrumors, etc. Then cancel all Internet plans you have and your cellular plan. Then no one will ever know where you are unless you tell them.
Too late for that: http://www.spokeo.com/
sinsin07 is offline   4 Reply With Quote
Old Apr 25, 2011, 08:58 AM   #14
NebulaClash
macrumors 68000
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Quote:
Originally Posted by thederby View Post
there's a big difference between the device knowing where it is/has been and that information actually being uploaded to "the mothership".
Correct, and that's why Steve is telling the truth unlike the trolls pretending this is an Apple conspiracy. That file is stuck on your hard disk and goes nowhere. Delete it and you don't even have that (as I did months ago when this story first broke). I tried the mapping tool and it won't work on my machine because consolidated.db cannot be found. Yet my iPhone works just fine, and Location Services works fine too.

Apple has never grabbed this information.

Android, on the other hand, exists so that it can serve advertiser's needs. Apple has been Opt In, but Android is Opt Out, which means your data gets transmitted to advertisers by default. You bet they track you on Droids. That's the entire business model.
__________________
2010 MacBook Pro 17" with 8GB RAM and 512GB SSD ; 64 GB iPad WiFi ; 32 GB iPhone 4 (Verizon)
NebulaClash is offline   8 Reply With Quote
Old Apr 25, 2011, 08:58 AM   #15
rockosmodurnlif
macrumors 6502a
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: New York, NY
Send a message via AIM to rockosmodurnlif Send a message via Yahoo to rockosmodurnlif
Quote:
A: Oh yes they do. We don't track anyone. The info circulating around is false.
He has come down from the mountain, he has spoken. Please return to your huts.
__________________
Wish list
☐ Linked contacts, phone numbers, addresses, etc. in Reminders for iOS
☐ Swipe between notes in Notes for iOS
☐ Word wrap in Reminders for Mac OS X
rockosmodurnlif is offline   3 Reply With Quote
Old Apr 25, 2011, 08:59 AM   #16
Modano
macrumors member
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: NYC
Let's say you write down everywhere you go in a notebook I gave you, which you keep in a desk at your house. Does that mean I'm tracking you? That's essentially what's happening here. It's just a better story to call it "tracking" and "spying."
Also, switching to a mobile OS made by an advertising company for privacy reasons is just absurd.
Modano is offline   15 Reply With Quote
Old Apr 25, 2011, 08:59 AM   #17
decimortis
macrumors 6502
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Here
It's a non-issue.

Sent from your iPhone.
__________________
rMBP 15: 2.4GHz/8GB RAM/256GB/Mac OS X 10.9.2
Google Nexus 5: White 32GB
decimortis is offline   5 Reply With Quote
Old Apr 25, 2011, 09:01 AM   #18
0815
macrumors 65816
 
0815's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: here and there
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blipp View Post
Call me naive (or perhaps paranoid) but I've been assuming my location is being tracked since I bought my first smart phone years ago.
I guess the fine point of difference is: It is stored on your phone (and computer where you do the backup), but it is never send to anyone ... so Apple is not tracking you since they never see that information. Saying Apple tracks you would mean that information collected is send to Apple, which is not the case.
__________________
sent from my computer
0815 is offline   11 Reply With Quote
Old Apr 25, 2011, 09:01 AM   #19
Gemütlichkeit
macrumors 65816
 
Gemütlichkeit's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Any smart phone with GPS will track/store data.

Thinking you can get away with this simply by switching brands is mental.

Bottom line, if you don't want to be "tracked" (location recorded) don't own a cellphone. Those cellphone towers always know where you are =-O
__________________
"It does me no injury for my neighbor to say there are twenty gods, or no God." -Thomas Jefferson
Gemütlichkeit is offline   5 Reply With Quote
Old Apr 25, 2011, 09:01 AM   #20
GoodWatch
macrumors 6502a
 
GoodWatch's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Rotterdam, The Netherlands
Quote:
Originally Posted by applefanDrew View Post
Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_3_2 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/533.17.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.0.2 Mobile/8H7 Safari/6533.18.5)

I don't get the big deal about it. If you want to be anonymous, get off fb, twitter, macrumors, etc. Then cancel all Internet plans you have and your cellular plan. Then no one will ever know where you are unless you tell them.

I don't think that is the point here. Apple, arguably the greatest and most customer-centric company with the world's best smart phone, the best OS and magical appliances (at least, that is what I'm being told here over and over again) collects location data without your prior knowledge or consent. If you become a member of MacRumors it is your own, deliberate, decision. But I already can see where this is going. Cue the drone-like Apple defenders, I hear them coming
__________________
Too late, my time has come
Sends shivers down my spine
Body's aching all the time
Goodbye everybody - I've got to go
GoodWatch is offline   -8 Reply With Quote
Old Apr 25, 2011, 09:02 AM   #21
louis Fashion
macrumors 6502a
 
louis Fashion's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Arizona, USA
Quote:
Originally Posted by thederby View Post
there's a big difference between the device knowing where it is/has been and that information actually being uploaded to "the mothership".

True, but the opt out system should have a way to erase the .db file. The Wall St. Journal's investigation indicates that the device is collecting data at all times.
__________________
A good traveler has no fixed plans, and is not intent on arriving. - Lao Tzu
louis Fashion is offline   2 Reply With Quote
Old Apr 25, 2011, 09:02 AM   #22
mabaker
macrumors 6502a
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Google servers are receiving every single bit of tracking info. Apple’s servers don’t. As easy. Let’s not forget this big picture here.


Besides if you encrypt your backup, nothing can happen. Thank you, have a good day.
__________________
„Integrated Intel graphics chip steals power from the CPU and siphons off memory from system-level RAM. You'd have to buy an extra card to get the graphics performance of Mac Mini [..]” - Apple.com
mabaker is offline   2 Reply With Quote
Old Apr 25, 2011, 09:03 AM   #23
anti-microsoft
macrumors 68000
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Edinburgh, UK
From what I've read, this really isn't that big of an issue. The database is just a list (that's locally stored) of places that you've been to. If it was uploaded to Apple, I would definitely be concerned but if it's a local file, then what's the fuss?
To get to the information, people would have to either:

A. Steal your phone and access the file
B. Steal your computer and access your iPhone backups
C. Hack your phone and find the file (if that's even possible)
D. Hack your computer and access the backups
E. Follow you wherever you go (unlikely, but who knows)

To me those options are more worrying when it comes to privacy than a list of coordinates stored locally on your phone, hidden in some sub-folder.

Anyway, someone correct me if I'm wrong.

Ams.
anti-microsoft is offline   6 Reply With Quote
Old Apr 25, 2011, 09:03 AM   #24
Arcus
macrumors 6502a
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: of my hand will get me slapped.
Quote:
Originally Posted by aristobrat View Post
No. Re-read the three sentences he typed. He said that Apple is not tracking anyone. That infers that the database of locations is not being used to track a users location.
No, he said "the info circulating". "THE" info includes the info about the database.
__________________
SE30 | Bondi Blu iMac | iBook G3 700 - 384 Megs 40gig |5th gen iPod 30gig Video | 17" 2.0 CD2 iMac |20" 2.16 CD2 iMac |5gb 1st Gen iPhone |16gb 4th Gen iPhone
Arcus is offline   -5 Reply With Quote
Old Apr 25, 2011, 09:03 AM   #25
tazinlwfl
macrumors member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
This issue is really starting to frustrate me. iPhone users that I know are starting to freak out because they're getting their information from sensationalized media and don't really understand what's really going on.

That is one of the reasons Apple can't sit on their hands with this issue - there are too many people getting misinformation that are spreading it to others.
tazinlwfl is offline   7 Reply With Quote

Reply
MacRumors Forums > News and Article Discussion > MacRumors.com News Discussion

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Similar Threads
thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Apple's Former Safari Chief Don Melton Reflects on Steve Jobs MacRumors MacRumors.com News Discussion 74 Apr 15, 2014 01:30 PM
What would iOS 7 been like if Steve Jobs was still around? 212rikanmofo iOS 7 21 Jun 12, 2013 03:27 AM
Steve Jobs: We don't know how to do maps. We don't think one company can do everythin gladoscc iOS 6 32 Oct 2, 2012 08:24 AM
Truth is. I really don't think Steve jobs would have allowed a late launch. EnderTW iPhone 44 Jul 3, 2012 09:18 PM
Don't you think this guy looks like Steve Jobs? JDee Community Discussion 0 Jun 2, 2012 07:48 PM

Forum Jump

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 02:58 AM.

Mac Rumors | Mac | iPhone | iPhone Game Reviews | iPhone Apps

Mobile Version | Fixed | Fluid | Fluid HD
Copyright 2002-2013, MacRumors.com, LLC