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iPhone’s Location-Data Collection Can’t Be Turned Off

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jakeXT Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 03:52 PM
Original message
iPhone’s Location-Data Collection Can’t Be Turned Off
The iPhone continues to store location data even when location services are disabled, contrary to Apple’s previous claims.

The Wall Street Journal did independent testing on an iPhone and found that even after turning off location services, the device was still collecting information on nearby cell towers and Wi-Fi access points.

This discovery challenges some of Apple’s claims. As Wired.com reported last week, the company explained in a detailed letter last year that it deliberately collects geodata to store in a comprehensive location database to improve location services. In the letter, Apple noted that customers can disable location-data collection by turning off Location Services in the settings menu.

“If customers toggle the switch to ‘Off,’ they may not use location-based services, and no location-based information will be collected,” Apple said in the letter (.pdf).

That doesn’t appear to be the case from WSJ’s testing, as well as multiple independent reports from customers who had the same results

http://www.wired.com/gadgetlab/2011/04/iphone-location-... /


Some people claim that the 1996 Telecommunications Act forced companies to build phones with gps capabilities by Oct 2001. I can't find anything on this.
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jakeXT Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 03:57 PM
Response to Original message
1. found something
By way of brief background, in 1996 the FCC enacted rules requiring that wireless carriers set up systems by October 1, 2001, by which wireless callers could be located to within 125 meters at least 67% of the time. The key purpose of this rule was to allow emergency dispatchers at public safety answering points (PSAPs) to locate callers from wireless phones. This standard, known as the E-911 Phase II standard, was intended to be technology neutral, but seem to favor network based solutions, as opposed to GPS-enabled handset solutions.

http://library.findlaw.com/1999/Nov/1/130152.html
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Eric J in MN Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 04:04 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. The location data could be deleted when it's a few hours old...
...if the point is to allow people who call 911 to be located.
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Cronus Protagonist Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 04:10 PM
Response to Reply #2
4. And that use only needs one data point
- the last one from the last call.
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Skink Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 04:10 PM
Response to Original message
3. What if the internet is not enabled on the phone?
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Eric J in MN Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 04:22 PM
Response to Reply #3
5. An iPhone owner who chooses the cheapest data plan from AT&T...
...still has internet access.

He'll just have a higher bill if he does a lot of web-surfing.
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