Feeds

Apple: Of course we stalk your EVERY move. iOS 7 has a new map to prove it

Cupertino knows where you were last summer – it's a feature

Security for virtualized datacentres

The latest beta of Apple's new iOS 7 for iThings features a "Frequent Locations" map, showing where fanbois have been hanging out lately for those too hip to remember the happening joints.

The feature is buried deep in the privacy settings, but if one has Location Services enabled it shows a map recording all the places where the user has been spending their time, helpfully overlaid with circles shaded to indicate just how popular that location is with that user.

We all know Apple, and Google, track our every move for our own benefit (how else would we learn about the valuable services nearby?) but the map software serves as a reminder of just how much data is being gathered.

Indeed, Apple admits in its iOS documentation: "If Location Services is on, your device will periodically send the geo-tagged locations of nearby Wi-Fi hotspots and cell towers in an anonymous and encrypted form to Apple, to augment Apple's crowd-sourced database of Wi-Fi hotspot and cell tower locations."

And now, the Cupertino giant has confirmed that the new track'n'map feature will be in the final release of iOS 7, expected in September, and provided this less-than-reassuring disclaimer:

"If you choose to enable Improve Maps, Apple will collect the GPS coordinates obtained through the Frequent Locations feature on your device and correlate them with the street address associated with your Apple ID. This will enable Apple to better approximate the geographic location of that and other addresses. Apple will only retain the resulting coordinates in an anonymous form to improve Maps and other Apple location-based products and services. You can turn off Improve Maps or Frequent Locations at any time under Settings -> Privacy -> Location Services -> System Services -> Frequent Locations."

Switching off Location Services is an option on all handsets, though Android (specifically the Google app suite) gets pretty unhappy if it's left off for long (reminding one how much better the experience would be if tracking were switched on).

Even if the GPS is off we're still being tracked by our phone network operator, as this still-marvellous example from Germany's T-Mobile shows us. Apple's honest approach should probably be welcomed even if it provides another good reason to key-lock one's iPhone to prevent friends and colleagues from gathering blackmail material. ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
ONE MILLION people already running Windows 10
A third of them are doing it in VMs, but early feedback focuses on frippery
Netscape Navigator - the browser that started it all - turns 20
It was 20 years ago today, Marc Andreeesen taught the band to play
Sway: Microsoft's new Office app doesn't have an Undo function
Content aggregation, meet the workplace ... oh
Sign off my IT project or I’ll PHONE your MUM
Honestly, it’s a piece of piss
Do Moan! MONSTER 6-day EMAIL OUTAGE hits Domain Monster
Customers freaked out by frightful service
Ploppr: The #VultureTRENDING App of the Now
This organic crowd sourced viro- social fertiliser just got REAL
Return of the Jedi – Apache reclaims web server crown
.london, .hamburg and .公司 - that's .com in Chinese - storm the web server charts
NetWare sales revive in China thanks to that man Snowden
If it ain't Microsoft, it's in fashion behind the Great Firewall
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.