iPhone Update: Apple Says “Opps”, Offers Tracking Opt Out

As the recent controversy over the location tracking of mobile devices continues on, Apple has promised to fix the location caching problem on the iPhone with the release of iOS 4.3.3. In a press release, Apple answered some frequently asked questions and concluded with information on an updated iOS to correct tracking issues.

The new iOS fixed all the issues it was promised to address, including reducing the amount of hotspot and cell tower location data stored, stopping the back ups to a synced computer, and allowing the cache to be completely deleted by turning off the phone’s Location Services. It also encrypts the cached information that is stored on the phone.

Apple claimed that the long term storage of location data with no way to opt out was just a bug. Anonymous data was being collected in order to provide “iPhone users an improved traffic service in the next couple of years.”

The iOS update allows users to opt out of the data collection through the Location Services setting. It also reduces the storage time of cached data to 7 days. This response seems to have relieved some of the discussion over location tracking, but Google and Apple will still appear before a Congressional hearing later this month to testify on the privacy of users.

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