iPhone will track your location, whether you like it or not
Even when location services are not enabled, your iPhone will still collect and store location data, according to a test run by the Wall Street Journal.
The recent revelation that iPhones were collecting precise location data, and storing that data for up to a year in an unencrypted file, has sparked concern among users, as well as from Senator Al Franken and Representative Ed Markey, who have demanded Steve Jobs explain what the data is used for.
Apple, in a letter last year, claimed that the iPhone used such information for improving location services, and that users who turn the location services feature off will not have their information collected.
But the Wall Street Journal’s test showed that the iPhone still used cellphone towers and Wi-Fi access to find this location data, though it did not appear to be transmitted back to Apple. The test observed the data recorded by the phone as it moved from place to place, and found that these moves were recorded, using coordinates and time stamps. The times did not include duration, and the coordinates were not totally precise.
Google performs a similar operation regarding users’ location data on phones using its Android software.