Following recent concerns about the use of location-based information on the iPhone - a topic we covered in today’s podcast - Apple has published a set of questions and answers about its use of location data.
The company insists it is “not tracking the location of your iPhone” and has never done this. It confirms that the smartphone does record information about nearby WiFi hotspots and cell sites to help it calculate its current location, with a backup kept in iTunes.
Apple blames a bug for phones storing up to a year’s worth of location information - and for phones that kept updating their database even when Location Services were turned off. It says an iOS update in the next few weeks will:
• reduce the size of the WiFi hotspot and cell tower database cached on the iPhone,
• cease backing up this cache, and
• delete this cache entirely when Location Services is turned off.
A future update will encrypt the database cache on iPhones.