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Jobs repeats talking points in iOS tracking interview

updated 02:55 pm EDT, Wed April 27, 2011

Apple to comply with gov't. testimony requests

Apple CEO Steve Jobs has reiterated some of the company's official positions on iOS tracking in a new interview. "We haven't been tracking anyone," Jobs tells All Things Digital. "The files they [researchers] found on these phones, as we explained, it turned out were basically files we have built through anonymous, crowdsourced information that we collect from the tens of millions of iPhones out there."

The executive also repeats claims that excessive stored data is related to a bug, and that the problem will be solved in a future firmware update. He blames panic on a lack of education by the industry. "As new technology comes into the society there is a period of adjustment and education," he comments. "We haven't -- as an industry -- done a very good job educating people, I think, as to some of the more subtle things going on here. As such, (people) jumped to a lot of wrong conclusions in the last week."

In contrast with an earlier email, Jobs is refusing to comment on the specific practices of other companies, like Google. "Some of them don't do what we do. That's for sure," he charges. He points out that iOS requires people to authorize location services for each app, and that there is a way of seeing which apps have been using location info. Google's Android platform has been accused of transmitting unnecessary data, but its content appears to be similar to the "crowdsourced information" cited by Jobs.

Regarding testimonies asked for by the US Congress and by other government bodies, Jobs suggests that Apple is looking forward to them and the ability to clarify the situation. "I think Apple will be testifying," he says. "They have asked us to come and we will honor their request, of course." The executive adds that he feels it will be interesting to see how closely the press follows events and examines what other companies are doing.

by MacNN Staff



  1. Flying Meat

    Joined: Dec 1969


    What is it that you

    were expecting him to concede?

    Conceding is an act, not a state of being. Conceited, what you probably meant, he might well be, but I don't see that in his statements above.

    The industry, cell/smart phones, GPS using computing device makers, what ever. They have not provided a very good set of privacy guidelines they, as a group, follow nor made that information available/easily accessible to all who might have a question about it.

    Apple may have a poor track record with regard to their plans, an maaaaany many fronts, but it is not "just" Apple's plans he is talking about. The industry at large is not very good on this front.

    Comment buried. Show
  1. Arne_Saknussemm

    Joined: Dec 1969


    "lack of education by the industry"

    Is this guy conceited or what!

    How long has the bug been there? couple years? Bet Jobsian cult members will correct any miss understandings the media, engineers, politicians, lawsuit trolls, and of course lawyers & judges, might have...

    Sent from my souped up Godrej & Boyce machine..

  1. Arne_Saknussemm

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Please, hold your horses...

    Before advancing such detailed information and judgments, wouldn't it be better to wait for the formal research the courts and professionals will produce?

    Check out law blogs, it seems the kind of information kept on the device would require a court order to be obtained and maintained. For most government officials (Homeland Security excluded - Patriot Act?) to procure location data from carriers (even as imprecise as that triangulated from cell repeaters) a Judge most be involved.

    >>>"Anonymous "facts" about the location of Wifi hotspots and cell towers are not "personal" information. It is something that anyone can find out by doing some driving around."

    Tell that to the Google Street View team...

    Sadly, things are never so simple; being concerned that a large corporation (or government, or neighbor) does not necessarily make one paranoid; just concerned.

    It can be understood how such a leading and innovative corporation as Apple creates such passionate followers, yet it IS a corporation with a bottom line. Creating market leading products is just one of it's means to attain this bottom line.

    Thanks for your attention

  1. Flying Meat

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Here you go

    This fulfills my desire to know more about this file. Most importantly for me, the data will be deleted when turning off Location Services. :)

  1. Arne_Saknussemm

    Joined: Dec 1969


    The argument is one sided -

    - so far this is just one side's view (the one accused of wrong doing - just as valuable as Google's'). But the fact that YOU and ME and most everybody (even Sen. Franken and the lawsuit trolls...) are doing research is a very good thing indeed!

    I'f I come up with a link with more info I'll share as well

  1. Arne_Saknussemm

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Nowadays all we get from the news is mostly political / war related.

    This news is refreshing in the sense that's technology motivated. On top of it the fact that it involves such hi profile characters will sure keep the media on it, hopefully until most facts are known.

    Already Germany declared that keeping phone & SMS records of all users for 2 years in the event someone "might" commit an act of terrorism is unconstitutional - contrary to current EU guidelines. It took about 2 years of internal litigation over there, but something finally came out of it.

    I think all the attention this is getting can only make for better laws and more security for all users; OK - mostly for non- iOS users used to get unrated stuff from all over the net outside the scrutiny of the Apple's application store ;)

    Alas it's a;;ways good to know The Watcher is also watched.

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