Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Apple Doesn't Spy, Vows to Fix Spying

thestreet.com
NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Apple(AAPL_) denied, confessed to and then said it will change its iPhone tracking practices that have created a swirl of outcry about potential privacy invasion.

In classic Apple fashion, the company issued a press release Wednesday consisting of 10 questions the company asked itself. In addition to the 10 answers, the company said it is preparing a software update that changes the way it collects data about iPhone locations.

First came the denial.

"Apple is not tracking the location of your iPhone. Apple has never done so and has no plans to ever do so," said the release.

Next came the explanation.

The short version: Apparently Apple doesn't track iPhones -- it collects the data from WiFi and cell tower antennas that track iPhones.

The long version: In order to find your location faster, Apple said it uses a database of antennas in a given area. This ready cache of antenna info can quickly pinpoint you on a map -- that's a lot faster than if you had to wait only for a GPS satellite report.

While Apple says this offers fast, accurate and secure location services, "users are confused" because the company has "not provided enough education about these issues to date."

So it's not your fault for being confused and angered about location snooping. It's Apple's -- among others' -- fault for not explaining how awesome the system is.

Apple also blamed bugs in the system.

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