Apple Says It’s Not Tracking Location: Take a Look at this Map & Judge For Yourself


In a statement issued Wednesday morning, Apple said “The iPhone is not logging your location. Rather, it’s maintaining a database of Wi-Fi hotspots and cell towers around your current location, some of which may be located more than one hundred miles away from your iPhone, to help your iPhone rapidly and accurately calculate its location when requested.”

Apple CEO Steve Jobs and other executives also talked about the indecent with All Things Digital blogger Ina Fried and with the New York Times. Apple admitted that there was a “bug” in the software that kept the file for too long and prevented users from keeping the data from being collected when turning off location services. Steve Jobs insisted to the New York Times that “We haven’t been tracking anybody” and added, “Never have. Never will.” Alasdair Allan and Pete Warden, the researchers who originally found the file on their phones praised Apple for fixing the problems but commented on the O’Reilly Radar blog that “Apple doesn’t address our claim that this reveals sensitive information about your travels. At this point we’re just relieved to get an explanation and a fix.” More on this can be found over on Larry’s World.

A map of my trip from Boston to New York courtesy of an iPhone

Larry Magid
Larry Magid is a technology journalist and an Internet safety advocate. He serves as on-air technology analyst for CBS News, is co-director of and founder of and He also writes columns that appear on CNET News,, Huffington Post and the San Jose Mercury News.

His technology reports can be heard daily on CBS News and CBS affiliates throughout the U.S. and he has a daily tech segment on KCBS radio in San Francisco. He’s a regular contributor to BBC World Service and an occasional guest on National Public Radio’s Talk of the Nation. He is often called upon for commentary by CBS television news, CNN and Fox News and has appeared on the CBS Evening News, ABC World News Tonight, the Today Show and CBS Early Show. He has also been a frequent contributor to the New York Times and was, for 18 years, a syndicated columnist for the Los Angeles Times.

He has written several books including the best-selling Little PC Book and is co-author (with Anne Collier) of MySpace Unraveled.

Larry served on the Obama Administration’s Online Technology Working Group and the Berkman Center’s Internet Safety Technology Task Force.
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