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

Build a business case: developing custom apps

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. ®

Bridging the IT gap between rising business demands and ageing tools

More from The Register

next story
NO MORE ALL CAPS and other pleasures of Visual Studio 14
Unpicking a packed preview that breaks down ASP.NET
Cheer up, Nokia fans. It can start making mobes again in 18 months
The real winner of the Nokia sale is *drumroll* ... Nokia
Put down that Oracle database patch: It could cost $23,000 per CPU
On-by-default INMEMORY tech a boon for developers ... as long as they can afford it
Google shows off new Chrome OS look
Athena springs full-grown from Chromium project's head
Apple: We'll unleash OS X Yosemite beta on the MASSES on 24 July
Starting today, regular fanbois will be guinea pigs, it tells Reg
HIDDEN packet sniffer spy tech in MILLIONS of iPhones, iPads – expert
Don't panic though – Apple's backdoor is not wide open to all, guru tells us
DARPA-derived secure microkernel goes open source tomorrow
Hacker-repelling, drone-protecting code will soon be yours to tweak as you see fit
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Seven Steps to Software Security
Seven practical steps you can begin to take today to secure your applications and prevent the damages a successful cyber-attack can cause.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.