April 25, 2011
Apple Sued Over iPhone Tracking

Who didn't see this lawsuit coming? The whole debacle has hit the point where the lawyers have been called in. *sigh*

So here are my thoughts...

  1. This isn't a big deal

    • The file is only available on your computer or your phone, and if someone with nefarious intent has access to either, you're boned already

    • The file isn't sent to Apple, but kept on your computer and iPhone only
    • This is also covered (from what I hear) in the terms of service (which no one reads)

  2. However, Apple should truncate or encrypt the file

    • You can fix this by setting the "encrypt backup" to prevent it from being available on your computer

    • I believe that Android does this as well, but their file is truncated to the last week or day or last few entries instead of all locations.

  3. You can turn it all off at the expense of usability

    • This data exists so that when you run an application that uses GPS it doesn't take 2 minutes (or more) to sync up with the satellites, and acts as a "fast-forward" to having an idea where you are.
    • You can remove these capabilities completely by turning off the "location services", but then of course you don't get any location based information.

  4. Sadly there's a give and take. We want to quickly 4Square, geotag our images, and see who's nearby, but to get this we have to have that information stored somewhere for our little mini-computer that we carry around in our pocket.

Personally I don't think that anyone has been hurt so badly by this that they desire money (though abusive spouses snooping on where you've been is something that is not a pretty thought), and that in the end I'm sure the only people who are going to come out ahead in this lawsuit are the lawyers, as usual.

Posted by Arcterex at April 25, 2011 01:27 PM