Apple’s Word on Location Data Collection

According to a letter that Apple sent to a couple of concerned Congressmen, the iPad, iPhone, as well as the Mac computers that are being used by the public today are actually helping the company come up with a particular location information database in their own separate ways. This letter was actually sent in order to respond to some rising concerns about how Apple collects location data information from certain device from Apple. Plus, the letter also contained some information about how Apple was able to safeguard the privacy of their users.

Reading the News

The issue that triggered these kinds of reactions was the sudden and only recent change in the privacy policy of Apple. The change indicated that the company itself was actually storing as well as further collecting location data. This issue was first published in an edition of the Los Angeles Times in June.

After having read the report from the LA Times, Edward J. Markey as well as Joe Barton decided to send the CEO of Apple, Steve Jobs, a letter. The letter contained certain requests for explaining the entire process associated with the company’s policies for location data collection. Apple immediately responded to this request and Congressman Markey posted the company’s response, in PDF format, on his official website.

Just like majority of today’s highly techie cellular device providers and makers, Apple utilizes any collected information about any WiFi access points as well as cell towers that are within the immediate surroundings. Doing so provides them with a much more accurate fix on exactly where your own device is located every time you make use of location-based services.

Back then, Apple only relied on the provided databases from Google as well as Skyhook Wireless in order to collect the information they intended to gather. Now, Apple can stand on its own two feet with its very own database with the introduction of their new product or service, the iPhone OS 3.2.

Statements from Apple

Apple announced to the public that the company has never collected any personally identifiable information with regards to WiFi access points, such as your own WiFi router’s nickname. Apple further reiterates that they never collected any samples of data transmissions from certain WiFi routers, just like an individual’s Webb browsing information, for instance.

Apple is very careful in pointing this out mainly because of the fact that Google has just recently landed on scalding hot water after the latter company announced that it had mistakenly collected data transmissions from WiFi routers that are unencrypted. It was because of this issue that Google’s Street View mapping project received a lot of negative feedback and mixed reactions.

In order for Apple to come up with its own database of location-based information, it had to make use of data collected by any of the company’s customer-owned gadgets that utilize services that are location-based as well. Good examples of such products are the iPad and the iPhone, especially those that run on iOS 3.2 or any later and newer versions.

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