The discovery that Apple (AAPL) automatically transmits to itself location information about...

The discovery that Apple (AAPL) automatically transmits to itself location information about users of its smartphones touches off a furor among iPhone owners and privacy advocates. The open cache of information "[opens] the door for a jealous spouse, thief, or even a crafty trojan to take a detailed look at your whereabouts," Ars Technica writes. Sen. Al Franken asks, Why does Apple collect this info?

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Comments (24)
  • elt10
    , contributor
    Comments (53) | Send Message
    Fascinating. Apple says they can't track ANY of their devices when they are stolen from their rightful owners, but they can follow them ALL around for their own corporate interests. Hmmmm.


    And, am I the only one whose stomach still turns at the phrase "Senator Al Franken"?
    21 Apr 2011, 06:02 PM Reply Like
  • cbc
    , contributor
    Comments (411) | Send Message
    My stomach turns at the phrase "Senator (insert almost any Senators name here)"
    22 Apr 2011, 08:31 PM Reply Like
  • 1980XLS
    , contributor
    Comments (3360) | Send Message
    It's called triangulation, and it's required by law for 911 calls.


    Yes, 13 years ago, as if this is news.



    Who do you trust more? Apple, Google or the Government?
    That's the question.
    21 Apr 2011, 06:12 PM Reply Like
  • djn21
    , contributor
    Comments (77) | Send Message
    So fantastically ironic that it was Apple who made the Orwellian-themed 1984 commercial so many years ago. And now they created a cocooned environment that monitors all who enter. They were the anti-big-brother-Micro... and now they are even worse themselves. Except they are beautiful and cool, so it's acceptable. Just too funny.
    21 Apr 2011, 06:13 PM Reply Like
  • alpharox
    , contributor
    Comments (380) | Send Message
    One step closer.


    Did you see the movie "Cypher"?
    OK, we're not there yet - step closer.


    Big business is too big and government can not and will not be able to keep up. Business reasons for mergers aside, this is an overriding reason why the size of companies should be limited to much smaller than the larger companies now.
    21 Apr 2011, 06:44 PM Reply Like
  • Jasper M
    , contributor
    Comments (1652) | Send Message
    Wish I could say I was surprised. This is just the latest step towards Apple renaming itself "Applesoft", as they fully embrace the corporate culture of the former masters of that domain.


    By the time they shake off the kind of hubris that leads to these decisions, and remember that they actually need the public's goodwill, it will be all gone.
    (I am a lifetime Apple user, typing this on one now [an ancient G4], but they are Not who they were!)
    21 Apr 2011, 07:00 PM Reply Like
  • Paul H. M.
    , contributor
    Comments (1035) | Send Message
    If you don't like it, don't get a SmartPhone. I know I wouldn't carry one if I was planning to do anything that I wanted to keep a secret.
    21 Apr 2011, 07:07 PM Reply Like
  • 1980XLS
    , contributor
    Comments (3360) | Send Message
    Paul HM,


    If you think they can't know your whereabouts as well as who you're talking to without a smartphone, you're not too smart yourself.
    21 Apr 2011, 07:17 PM Reply Like
  • realornot
    , contributor
    Comments (1263) | Send Message
    Well learn how to do smoke signals with your friends but then again you may accidentally touch off a forest or urban fires!
    Privacy or Cavemantility.
    21 Apr 2011, 07:19 PM Reply Like
  • realornot
    , contributor
    Comments (1263) | Send Message
    For one thing if BB wants to track you, they can force you all to wear a chip or chips under your skin. Some of your pets are wearing them already for easy tracking. Some parents may use that to keep track of their toddlers and may totally forget to remove them when they grow older.
    21 Apr 2011, 07:24 PM Reply Like
  • 1980XLS
    , contributor
    Comments (3360) | Send Message
    Real or Not,


    Actually, these things for the most part are designed for the elderly.

    21 Apr 2011, 07:27 PM Reply Like
  • 7footMoose
    , contributor
    Comments (2229) | Send Message
    This whole story is so not news at all that I cannot believe that it has even generated seventeen comments so far. Trust me this should be the least of your concerns about how your whereabouts are tracked. US Government spy satellites can read your automobile license plates from 60,000 feet. That too is very old news. If you drive by a sensitive government installation expect that every word uttered inside your car has been recorded and reviewed. There are virtually millions of public and private cameras which the US Government has access to as part of Homeland Security. You are lucky if you can have sex in your own home without some government eavesdropper listening in. Get over it.
    21 Apr 2011, 07:51 PM Reply Like
  • Neil459
    , contributor
    Comments (2636) | Send Message
    "You are lucky if you can have sex in your own home without some government eavesdropper listening in. Get over it"


    Actually with the infrared sensors in the satellites these days they know if your having sex, when, and in what position. So I agree, they should be a lot more concerned about a lot of other issues.
    21 Apr 2011, 08:09 PM Reply Like
  • alpharox
    , contributor
    Comments (380) | Send Message
    Let's see...oh yeah, there's a tiny difference between the acceptability of a national government's tracking activities and those of a business.


    And don't forget that apple's poor implementation leaves you open to the data being easily accessed by 3rd parties.
    22 Apr 2011, 11:44 AM Reply Like
  • css1971
    , contributor
    Comments (871) | Send Message
    Only people with something to hide will have a problem with this.
    21 Apr 2011, 08:07 PM Reply Like
  • Monngie
    , contributor
    Comments (973) | Send Message
    Once again.


    That's what they said in NAZI Germany. If your not doing anything wrong you have nothing to be afraid of. Just don't protect Jews or do anything against the National Socialist Party. Heil Hitler!


    People think this *&^% can't happen here., ya the Patriot Act.


    I know, I'm paranoid and should take my meds. Or maybe I'm just vigilant in protecting my freedoms.


    They are chipping away every day.
    22 Apr 2011, 12:09 AM Reply Like
  • tigersam
    , contributor
    Comments (1707) | Send Message
    Ars Technica people must have shorted Apple stock hoping Apple will come up with bad earnings. Since that did not work, now these guys are comming with new logic.
    21 Apr 2011, 08:17 PM Reply Like
  • Saint Poodle
    , contributor
    Comments (134) | Send Message
    Idiots are jumping high, senators are looking for some racket possibilities.
    22 Apr 2011, 06:50 AM Reply Like
  • Bear Bait
    , contributor
    Comments (952) | Send Message
    There is a difference between having the capablilty of tracking someone or seeing into their bedroom and actually doing it 24 hrs/ 7days and then storing the info. Is Apple downloading that info? I have always been a fan of Apple until recently. My first computer in 1980 was an Apple. In the past few months/years I have began to characterize Apple as the "Computer Nazis". This latest incident just adds support to that characterization. Countries around athe world hit the ceiling when Google was inadvertently collecting personal info. The big difference here is Apple is doing intentionally. My opinion for those that even care. Not good.
    22 Apr 2011, 09:25 AM Reply Like
  • nebrot
    , contributor
    Comments (21) | Send Message
    anyone who believes that google collected info inadvertently, will believe anything.... google is the most intrusive and sinister spy organisation in the world, with solid ties to the US Gov.... anybody using gmail or google search have no privacy whatsoever...copies of every webpage visited, every email sent and received is saved forever on humongous servers...your political leaning is easily you click in on the weekly standard, or the daily kos...
    I try to protect my privacy by always logging on with TOR, and for email I use (check it out)
    as for the non issue of smart phone tracking, just turn off location service, when you dont need it to use gps navigation...
    22 Apr 2011, 10:57 AM Reply Like
  • 7footMoose
    , contributor
    Comments (2229) | Send Message
    These postings are awash with ignorance. The triangulation used in cell towers has made the tracking of cell phones possible for over twenty years. All carriers know where you are at all times otherwise you would never be able to connect to their emergency 911 system. This was mandated by the US Government. The DHS and NSA have had access to these records since prior to 9/11 in their effort to thwart terrorists. Apple has as a service on its IPhone "Settings" "Locations Services" the ability to track you phone in case of loss or emergency and for certain Apps. This is much ado about nothing. Get a life people.
    22 Apr 2011, 11:04 AM Reply Like
  • 867046
    , contributor
    Comments (380) | Send Message
    Check out Levinson's:


    "3 Major Issues with the Latest iPhone Tracking “Discovery”"


    which contradicts all this anti AAPL hysteria.


    Article is at: alexlevinson.wordpress.../
    22 Apr 2011, 02:33 PM Reply Like
  • afronaut
    , contributor
    Comments (8) | Send Message
    I find it unusual that people expect transparency from Apple on issues like this. If Apple were to come out on day 1 saying "these are all the things which could be perceived as negative about our product", it could actually affect sales. Meanwhile, if you just don't bring up negative facts about your product until after its been adopted en masse, the effect is negligible...
    25 Apr 2011, 08:39 AM Reply Like
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