Steve Jobs (allegedly) denies that Apple tracks iOS devices

Apr 25, 2011
Tech

While Apple has not formally responded to a study that indicates the company is storing the location data of its users on iOS devices, one MacRumors.com reader has perhaps tracked down a reply by CEO Steve Jobs. Here is the alleged email question and reply published earlier today in MacRumors. Q: Steve, Could you please […]

While Apple has not formally responded to a study that indicates the company is storing the location data of its users on iOS devices, one MacRumors.com reader has perhaps tracked down a reply by CEO Steve Jobs.

Here is the alleged email question and reply published earlier today in MacRumors.

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

At least Jobs didn’t send his reply from a T-Mobile Sidekick.

But in all seriousness, the public relations fallout from this issue – and Apple’s slow response – threatens to rival that of the iPhone 4 antenna-gate debacle last summer.

Further, privacy security issues carry deeper ramifications to larger swaths of society than do the iPhone 4’s ability to properly receive a signal. Already, democratic congressman Ed Markey of Massachusetts is demanding that Apple responds to these allegations no later than May 12.

Owners of Android devices are not immune to this issue either. While Google to date is more forthcoming with consumers on this issue, neither smartphone operating system is immune.

While in the end this may be a benign issue – and necessary in order to take advantage of all the capabilities iOS and Android devices may provide – both Apple and Google need to take clearer steps in explaining the trade-off and then let consumers decide how they proceed.

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Brad Spirrison

Brad Spirrison is the managing editor of appoLearning and Appolicious Inc. In this capacity, he has sampled and evaluated thousands of iOS and Android applications. He also holds an M.A. in Education and Media Ecology from New York University.

Spirrison worked in concert with appoLearning Expert and Instructional Technology Specialist Leslie Morris while curating and evaluating educational applications.

A longtime media and technology commentator and executive, Spirrison is also a regular contributor to ABC News, The Huffington Post, TechCrunch, Bloomberg West and The Christopher Gabriel Program.

Spirrison is married and lives with his wife and young son in Chicago. As his son was born just weeks before the debut of the iPad, Spirrison takes his work home with him and regularly samples and enjoys a variety of educational applications for young children.

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