The iPhone Tracking Lawsuit

Reports of the Apple iPhone tracking users locations and storing the data insecurely on the iPhone have been flying all over the web this past week or more. Today, a lawsuit was announced and in it two men say that the location based tracking system could put users at risk of stalking or other invasions of privacy. The lawsuit was filled in Florida and states: “Apple collects the location information covertly, surreptitiously, and in violations of law”.

The new iOS 4 software has been collecting location based data from iPhone users, which Apple claims to do in their updated privacy policy, but some are unhappy with this feature. Apple is using the location based information to provide users with services, ads.. based on the users location. Not a bad idea from Apple, but iPhone users are increasingly becoming upset about the tracking. No official stance has been taken yet by Apple.

According to reports, the tracking option can be “turned off”, but some users that searched into the subject found that some information still stored even though the feature had been disabled by the user. PCMag did a test with the feature turnd off and in a 45 minute test, no information was collected according to the “consolidated.db” file. That doesn’t mean that Apple isn’t taking the data at specific times of the day.

In the lawsuit, the main action that Apple is asked to take is to remove this feature from the next iOS update. The two men behind the lawsuit claim that Apple should have used a “one line disclosure” for the new features instead of craming them into a long term of service contract. This way users would see this right away and know what they are dealing with after they upgrade to the latest version of the iOS.

This is the only lawsuit against Apple about privacy issues, I wonder how they are going to deal with this issue?!

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