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Lawsuit challenges Apple over iOS location tracking

updated 04:55 pm EDT, Mon April 25, 2011

Few details available

A lawsuit has been filed against Apple regarding location tracking on iPhones and 3G iPads, according to Bloomberg. Two customers have reportedly filed a federal complaint in Tampa, Florida, alleging privacy invasion and computer fraud. More details of the case should emerge in the near future.

At the heart of the matter is a tracking file in iOS 4 recording much of a person's location history, potentially going as far back as the firmware's introduction last summer. Apple CEO Steve Jobs has denied any active tracking, and attempted to shift criticism to Google's Android platform, which has also been accused of breaching privacy. Google in turn claims that Android does not archive any location data without consent.

The level of the iOS threat, at least, may be exaggerated. Although the tracking file is unprotected, reading it requires either direct access or an unlikely remote exploit. Because the file appears to be generating data based on celltowers, its contents are also imprecise, making it of little use for things like stalking or robberies.

by MacNN Staff



  1. ooshnoo

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Blah blah blah...

    If they can prove that the data is transmitted somewhere, then they might have a case. Otherwise forget it.

  1. chas_m



    Exactly, ooshnoo

    This case will be tossed out of court very quickly. A couple of gold diggers hoping to score some settlement cash, but they got nothin' because there IS nothing.

    There's been absolutely no evidence whatsoever (and believe me some would have already emerged by now) that the data collected and stored on the local device gets transmitted ANYWHERE.

    Should Apple patch their firmware to encrypt that data? Sure.

    Is it a threat or risk in any way? No, at least not at present or for the foreseeable future.

    Teapot. Tempest. A. In. Work out a sentence using these words.

  1. sibeale1

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Good Luck!

    Lawsuit trolls. As Steve said, Apple doesn't receive the tracking data, it stays on your iPhone, and is copied as a backup to your computer. If you're worried about location info on your iPhone and computer, you must REALLY be worried about all the other stuff stored there, like addresses and phone numbers.

  1. Greengo

    Joined: Dec 1969



    I just discovered that my iPhone also keeps, emails, bookmarks, phones numbers and other personal stuff that Apple also DOESN'T retrieve...where's my lawyer!?!

  1. rumplestiltskin

    Joined: Dec 1969



    ...that Darl McBride has returned.

  1. Arne_Saknussemm

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Shame on you lawsuit trolls!

    Why complaint so much about privacy; to quote Mark Zuckerberg; "The age of privacy is over". PERIOD!

    Only those with things to hide worry or complaint about being tracked.

    Apple already keeps us out of harms ways by censoring pornography and the likes of Mark Fiore on the applications store. Apple (unlike Google) would never miss use any - so called personal information - for it's own gain.

    What about taking it one step further and avoid aliases altogether sign posts with real names addresses and emails?

  1. Brad Bradley

    Joined: Dec 1969


    It's on your hardware...

    I think that since it's on my hardware... and someone has to get their hands on my computer... I would be more worried about "What the h*** is that guy got my computer for?" rather than if he know were I have been.

  1. wrenchy

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Simple Solution.

    Just get a Droid.


    - Sent from my Android Device.

  1. wrenchy

    Joined: Dec 1969


    No really

    All it takes is a couple of greedy a$$hats to file a lawsuit just to see if they can get lucky... There's all sorts of these trolls in this world.

  1. 64stang06

    Joined: Dec 1969



    These people are suing Apple and requesting a refund on the devices they purchased? Here's an idea, return them! Holy c***, it's amazing that they know how to breathe on their own.

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