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Apple Wants To Share Your Location With Others

kdawson posted more than 3 years ago | from the leaving-more-than-virtual-tracks dept.

Iphone 248

Farhood sends in this snip from the LA Times: "In an updated version of its privacy policy, the company added a paragraph noting that once users agree, Apple and unspecified 'partners and licensees' may collect and store user location data. When users attempt to download apps or media from the iTunes store, they are prompted to agree to the new terms and conditions. Until they agree, they cannot download anything through the store. The company says the data is anonymous and does not personally identify users. Analysts have shown, however, that large, specific data sets can be used to identify people based on behavior patterns." Mashable and The Consumerist have picked up on this collection and sharing of "precise location data, including the real-time geographic location of your Apple computer or device."

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Beh (5, Insightful)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 3 years ago | (#32650720)

s/share/sell/

s/with/to/

what happened to crapdot? (1)

Adolf Hitroll (562418) | more than 3 years ago | (#32650900)

Now, it's all about facebook, apple and google who happen to suck at Freedom AND gratisdom.
Wouldn't you rather promote quality and truth, instead of corrupting the formerly mentally able youth?

Slashdot: News for merdes...

Re:Beh (2, Insightful)

Deus.1.01 (946808) | more than 3 years ago | (#32650956)

"Wouldnt a mochafrapparasberrychino hit the spot right now? Lucky for you there is a starbucks only two blocks away!"

I take back what i said about Apple, they do know how to innovate.

Re:Beh (1)

sonnejw0 (1114901) | more than 3 years ago | (#32651644)

Except you can opt out at http://oo.apple.com/ [apple.com] on your iOS4 Device.

Isn't this exactly what we lambaste Google for? (5, Insightful)

mjwx (966435) | more than 3 years ago | (#32650738)

Isn't this exactly what we lambaste Google for?

In an updated version of its privacy policy, the company added a paragraph noting that once users agree, Apple and unspecified 'partners and licensees' may collect and store user location data.

Well not quite, Google does not explicitly state they are planning on selling your data.

When users attempt to download apps or media from the iTunes store, they are prompted to agree to the new terms and conditions. Until they agree, they cannot download anything through the store.

Does anyone still wonder why it is bad to be beholden to a single supply chain?

So Apple does not want you to have freedom or respects your privacy.

Re:Isn't this exactly what we lambaste Google for? (0, Troll)

jmcbain (1233044) | more than 3 years ago | (#32651116)

Call me naive, but I trust Apple. I've been using Mobile Me since late 2004. I just migrated away from the Palm phone after three years; I now have an iPhone as my primary phone. My calendar, my contacts, etc. are in the Apple cloud. And guess what? They've never done ANYTHING to erode my trust in them. In the age of telecom companies trying to cap mobile data plans, and place arbitrary restrictions on IP-delivered media content, Apple is busy trying to roll out fiber and generally make the Internet better. I believe that not only do they live by their "think different" mantra, but that they realize the days of the free Internet may be numbered. They're doing their best to save the Internet as we know it. Granted, they have something to gain. But other companies' failure to evolve leaves the door wide open for a company which we should trust far more than AT&T, Time Warner, etc. to preserve the landscape that slashdotters are so eager to protect. The tag is correct, it's a witch hunt. Apple admitted their mistake, we move on.

WTF? (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32651188)

Call me naive, but I trust Apple. I've been using Mobile Me since late 2004. I just migrated away from the Palm phone after three years; I now have an iPhone as my primary phone. My calendar, my contacts, etc. are in the Apple cloud. And guess what? They've never done ANYTHING to erode my trust in them. In the age of telecom companies trying to cap mobile data plans, and place arbitrary restrictions on IP-delivered media content, Apple is busy trying to roll out fiber and generally make the Internet better. I believe that not only do they live by their "think different" mantra, but that they realize the days of the free Internet may be numbered. They're doing their best to save the Internet as we know it. Granted, they have something to gain. But other companies' failure to evolve leaves the door wide open for a company which we should trust far more than AT&T, Time Warner, etc. to preserve the landscape that slashdotters are so eager to protect. The tag is correct, it's a witch hunt. Apple admitted their mistake, we move on.

deja vu [slashdot.org] ! Spooky!

Re:Isn't this exactly what we lambaste Google for? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32651196)

Naive

Re:Isn't this exactly what we lambaste Google for? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32651204)

You're naive.

Re:Isn't this exactly what we lambaste Google for? (4, Insightful)

dmbasso (1052166) | more than 3 years ago | (#32651224)

Naive. :)

A very good friend once told me: "If you put your balls in their hands, don't complain if they decide to squeeze them". That was almost ten years ago, and he was referring to Microsoft, but see how it fits perfectly with a lot of companies, including Apple.

Re:Isn't this exactly what we lambaste Google for? (2, Insightful)

goombah99 (560566) | more than 3 years ago | (#32651538)

It's not necessarily the same thing that google does.

When you install an app that uses location data then the app almost certainly already knows exactly who you are, no inferences needed. So the question is not if apps are accessing your location data but if apple is downloading it to the mothership and selling this to third parties whose apps you did not purchase. However there that daya may or may not be processed before handing over. For example, if they hand over a string of locations and times you visit (the bagel shop, starbucks, the metro, the work place, the home then that associated sequence probably nails you uniquely. If they instead hand over a historgram of city block vistis that aggregate over all users and don't link the records then this data will be fairly anonymous aside from edge cases (e.g. perhaps they can figure out you are indeed the bridge tender on the brooklyn bridge.) So it depends on what level of correlation they are handing over and if it's to third parties or apps that you installed.

Every time I install a googls chrome plugin I cringe cause it tells me it needs access to my browsing history and bookmarks. But then I relax slightly because at least I'm choosing to install this not have it handed over to third parties. What I worry more about is the google searches themselves. that string of associates goes to google and I suspect they are indeed correlating these.

private bits (1)

goombah99 (560566) | more than 3 years ago | (#32651596)

IU was just thinking that you could even quantitate the degree of information being handed over and it's likelihood it identifies you. Some measure like the entropy or the mutual information of the data set correlation might quantify the uniquness. That is how many bits in uncertainty would there be on a user ID. Companies could even Publish this in their privacy statements. e.g. apple might say they rank a 11 privacy bits, meaning that the average user is idenitifed to only one pool of 2048 individuals.

Well Apply fanbois will love this (0, Flamebait)

Chrisq (894406) | more than 3 years ago | (#32650742)

They can see at an instant where the local circle-jerk is happening

Re:Well Apply fanbois will love this (1)

santaliqueur (893476) | more than 3 years ago | (#32650756)

Funny how so many anti-Apple posters seem to bring up gay sex or Steve Jobs' dick without any provocation. Just sayin.

slashdot broken today (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32650790)

A couple weeks ago, while taking my asian girlfriend shopping at the local mall, I had to take a piss. As I entered the john, Steve Jobs -- the messiah himself -- came out of one of the booths. I stood at the urinal looking at him out of the corner of my eye as he washed his hands. He didn't once look at me. He was busy and in any case I was sure the security guards wouldn't even let me shake his hand.

As soon as he left I darted into the booth he'd vacated, hoping there might be a lingering smell of shit and even a seat still warm from his sturdy ass. I found not only the smell but the shit itself. He'd forgotten to flush. And what a treasure he had left behind. Three or four beautiful specimens floated in the bowl. It apparently had been a fairly dry, constipated shit, for all were fat, stiff, and ruggedly textured. The real prize was a great feast of turd -- a nine inch gastrointestinal triumph as thick as his cock -- or at least as I imagined it!

I knelt before the bowl, inhaling the rich brown fragrance and wondered if I should obey the impulse building up inside me. I'd always been a liberal thinker and had been an Apple customer since 1984. Of course I'd had fantasies of meeting Jobs, sucking his cock and balls, not to mention sucking his asshole clean, but I never imagined I would have the chance. Now, here I was, confronted with the most beautiful five-pound turd I'd ever feasted my eyes on, a sausage fit to star in any fantasy and one I knew to have been hatched from the asshole of Steve Jobs, the chosen one.

Why not? I plucked it from the bowl, holding it with both hands to keep it from breaking. I lifted it to my nose. It smelled like rich, ripe limburger (horrid, but thrilling), yet had the consistency of cheddar. What is cheese anyway but milk turning to shit without the benefit of a digestive tract?

I gave it a lick and found that it tasted better then it smelled.

I hesitated no longer. I shoved the fucking thing as far into my mouth as I could get it and sucked on it like a big half nigger cock, beating my meat like a madman, and thrusting my pink iPod Shuffle into my ass. I wanted to completely engulf it and bit off a large chunk, flooding my mouth with the intense, bittersweet flavor. To my delight I found that while the water in the bowl had chilled the outside of the turd, it was still warm inside. As I chewed I discovered that it was filled with hard little bits of something I soon identified as peanuts. He hadn't chewed them carefully and they'd passed through his body virtually unchanged. I ate it greedily, sending lump after peanutty lump sliding scratchily down my throat. My only regret was that Steve Jobs wasn't there to see my loyalty and wash it down with his piss.

I soon reached a terrific climax. I caught my cum in the cupped palm of my hand and drank it down. Believe me, there is no more delightful combination of flavors than the hot sweetness of cum with the rich bitterness of shit. It's even better than reading an Apple press release!

Afterwards I was sorry that I hadn't made it last longer. But then I realized that I still had a lot of fun in store for me. There was still a clutch of virile turds left in the bowl. I tenderly fished them out, rolled them into my handkerchief, and stashed them in my briefcase. In the week to come I found all kinds of ways to eat the shit without bolting it right down. Once eaten it's gone forever unless you want to filch it third hand out of your own asshole. Not an unreasonable recourse in moments of desperation or simple boredom.

I stored the turds in the refrigerator when I was not using them but within a week they were all gone. The last one I held in my mouth without chewing, letting it slowly dissolve. I had liquid shit trickling down my throat for nearly four hours. I must have had six orgasms in the process.

I often think of Steve Jobs dropping solid gold out of his sweet, pink asshole every day, never knowing what joy it could, and at least once did, bring to a grateful Apple customer.

Re:slashdot broken today (0, Redundant)

mxh83 (1607017) | more than 3 years ago | (#32650864)

christ..

Re:slashdot broken today (2, Insightful)

AHuxley (892839) | more than 3 years ago | (#32651022)

lol "It's even better than reading an Apple press release"

Re:slashdot broken today (1)

bipedalhominid (1828798) | more than 3 years ago | (#32651612)

Dude, some of us have to read this at work. I mean even though I am the one who would run the "what ya been up to on the web" report. Damn, makes me feel stupid to keep reading this slashdot site when literal crap like this gets through. Can we have a little moderation around here?

What level of anonymity? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32650752)

Is it highly anonymous - just that an iphone user was present at so and location. Or does it include the time (at night probably you will be at your home). Or does it also included an anonymized identifier that can uniquely identify an user (but only apple can link it to his name/email)

Re:What level of anonymity? (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 3 years ago | (#32650952)

Given that every iPhone has at least one unique ID burned into it(a serial number of its own, plus whatever IMEIs and whatnot being a GSM device implies), I'm guessing that it is a "anonymized identifier that can uniquely identify a user(but only Apple, or AT&T, or their extra special iAD friends, or anybody who knows something about drawing inferences from location data can link to his name/real-life place of residence/shopping habits/place of employment)...

Re:What level of anonymity? (1)

mjwx (966435) | more than 3 years ago | (#32651070)

I'm guessing that it is a "anonymized identifier that can uniquely identify a user

You think too much (solly, I'm still in SE Asia).

This is overbuilt and fraught with legal woes. All they need to do is link each account to a "randomised" primary key, that way they can still stay it's anonymised ("not personally identifiable" I believe is the catch phrase) whilst allowing Apple and it's partners to know who they should target. With this they can make sure all Iphone owners in Leeds are directed towards the nearest weahterspoons rather then a decent pub, meanwhile Apple are protected because they are just a bunch of unidentifiable numbers.

Re:What level of anonymity? (1)

Culture20 (968837) | more than 3 years ago | (#32651632)

This is overbuilt and fraught with legal woes. All they need to do is link each account to a "randomised" primary key, that way they can still stay it's anonymised ("not personally identifiable" I believe is the catch phrase) whilst allowing Apple and it's partners to know who they should target. With this they can make sure all Iphone owners in Leeds are directed towards the nearest weahterspoons rather then a decent pub, meanwhile Apple are protected because they are just a bunch of unidentifiable numbers.

Until one of those partners happens to be Facebook, Google, Twitter, Myspace, Microsoft, etc. Once they can link up one or two "randomized" location histories with times and IPs that certain users log in from, BAM! those users are tied to a "randomized" primary key.

At least they tell you.. (2, Interesting)

onion2k (203094) | more than 3 years ago | (#32650760)

What the update means is that they've relaxed the application vetting so apps that use the geolocation API aren't scrutinised as much as they used to be. Apple are telling users that apps can, and will, collect and store your location data, and that they're not going to stop them even if there's no reason for the app to be doing it. The app will still ask you if you want to share your location as it always has done.

Who tells you that might be happening if you have an Android phone? Or if you install a browser that enables the geolocation services of HTML 5 on your PC (eg http://html5demos.com/geo [html5demos.com] )? No one. They don't have to. They can't really, because there isn't a "gatekeeper" controlling it all.

Re:At least they tell you.. (5, Insightful)

MrHanky (141717) | more than 3 years ago | (#32650826)

It's different from Google like this: Quoting Cory Doctorow: "This is different from Android, in that Google does not gather your information unless you opt in, and if you do opt in, you can opt out later.

"By contrast, Apple gathers your information without asking you to opt in, and does not present you with the option of opting out.

"What's more, Apple is presenting these new terms retrospectively. People who bought iPads and iPods on the understanding that they could be used without having their location information gathered and shared now find that they *must* allow this information to be gathered and shared (I suppose you could try not updating iTunes, but then you would also have to not upgrade your OS -- OS upgrades come with iTunes upgrades -- and be prepared to be locked out of the app store, and since Apple's use of DRM prevents third parties from putting apps on your devices, you're fundamentally abandoning any hope of loading any code, even third-party code, onto your iPad and iPod)."

Of course, he may or may not be correct.

Re:At least they tell you.. (-1)

eV_x (180493) | more than 3 years ago | (#32650964)

Actually, there's an easy way to not agree and to opt-out and opt-in...

Don't buy the phone if this bothers you. That's the opt-out. Apple makes the phone and they have every right to do this. You, as the consumer, have every right not to buy that phone if you disagree with this. Nobody is forcing you. Could Apple make it more like Google (assuming Cory Doctorow is right)? Sure, but they chose not to. So consumers have to make an opt-in/opt-out decision: buy Apple or not.

My point is that we act like Apple is oppressing people with these policies. People either care or they don't. I don't care.

Re:At least they tell you.. (5, Insightful)

mrsurb (1484303) | more than 3 years ago | (#32651000)

Read the parent that you're responding to! His point is that Apple is applying these terms to people AFTER they have bought the phone. It's an automatic opt-in unless you want to go to a lot of effort to sit outside Apple's walled garden, at which point you lose a big proportion of the value of the phone that you have already paid for.

For new customers, sure it's opt-in/opt-out, buy Apple or not. But if you do, don't be surprised at the next swift one that Apple pulls.

Re:At least they tell you.. (5, Insightful)

silanea (1241518) | more than 3 years ago | (#32651010)

Which part of "retroactive" needs to be explained to you? They change the license not just for new customers but also for existing users, effectively rendering their devices useless as far as many advertised features are concerned unless they agree to the new terms.

Re:At least they tell you.. (-1, Troll)

eV_x (180493) | more than 3 years ago | (#32651058)

You completely missed my point... if you don't want to have these things don't use it. Nobody is forcing people to use this phone just like nobody is forcing them to use Facebook. These companies, which are companies, sell you a service in which you pay a monthly fee to continue service. Who cares if it's retroactive? It's a service and service and privacy agreements get updated *all the time*. You pay for that service.

If AT&T tomorrow doubled its rates I would probably dump AT&T and sell my phone. Likewise, if you don't like the change, dump the phone and move on. I'm not trying to be a douche, but what promise was made to you or anybody else that these things would never change? Their previous agreement allowed them the ability to legally update it. I understand being upset but I was responding to opt-in and opt-out, and it's pretty simple - your dollars are your vote for you and how serious you are.

The last thing I want to see is a bunch of people up in arms saying we need laws to prevent this. I call BS on that. Nobody is forcing you to have a smartphone. Nobody is forcing you to use location services. And certainly, nobody is forcing you to have an iPhone. It's simple, and while that may sound brutal, that's the benefit of your ability to choose.

Also I disagree with your "rendering their devices useless" point. C'mon - not using location based services doesn't render the phone useless.

Re:At least they tell you.. (1)

xaxa (988988) | more than 3 years ago | (#32651276)

People are sort-of forced to use the phone, since they probably have an expensive monthly contract, and the summary says you can't add more apps/music until you agree to the new agreement -- that's a main feature of the phone.

Though, if I owned an iPhone I'd consider taking it back to the store if I was required to accept this new agreement. Fortunately, this country has reasonable laws that could probably help here -- though IANAL. (Those laws being the ones that prevent a company having a one-sided "agreement", or changing an agreement, etc)

Free Market BS (4, Insightful)

Comboman (895500) | more than 3 years ago | (#32651518)

I understand being upset but I was responding to opt-in and opt-out, and it's pretty simple - your dollars are your vote for you and how serious you are. The last thing I want to see is a bunch of people up in arms saying we need laws to prevent this. I call BS on that.

And I call BS on your free market democracy ("your dollars are your vote"). You're right about one thing though; we don't need new laws to prevent this. We need the old laws that allow companies to lock down devices that their customers own (DMCA, etc) removed so that we have a real Free market.

Re:At least they tell you.. (1)

Sir_Lewk (967686) | more than 3 years ago | (#32651536)

The problem here is you are using a phrase ("Nobody is forcing people to use this phone") that is commonly employed by apple fanatics to assert that the only people who have a right to complain about apple are those people that have bought the right to do so (by buying an apple product, why the hell would I do that if I don't like them?) and that people should simply not purchase their products instead of complaining. The reasoning is of course flawed, nobody expects M$-flamers on slashdot to purchase and use windows before complaining on slashdot about it.

Do I feel sorry for people that bought iphones and this is happening to? Of course not, they brought it on themselves. Is this still a morally reprehensible action by Apple, and does it deserve my full and unreserved criticism? Absolutely.

As for new laws? I agree that we don't need new ones. There are probably plenty on the books already that would make retroactively changing terms of use legally questionable. All that we need is for these laws to be properly interpreted and applied.

Re:At least they tell you.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32651014)

Actually, there's an easy way to not agree and to opt-out and opt-in...

Don't buy the phone if this bothers you. That's the opt-out. Apple makes the phone and they have every right to do this. You, as the consumer, have every right not to buy that phone if you disagree with this. Nobody is forcing you. Could Apple make it more like Google (assuming Cory Doctorow is right)? Sure, but they chose not to. So consumers have to make an opt-in/opt-out decision: buy Apple or not.

My point is that we act like Apple is oppressing people with these policies. People either care or they don't. I don't care.

What about people who have already bought an iDevice? Apple is retroactively changing the privacy rules surrounding your use of the device. Failure to accept the terms will result in you not being able to update or install any software. Is Apple planning on giving refunds to anyone who owns a iDevice which was bought before the change in terms?

Re:At least they tell you.. (3, Interesting)

AHuxley (892839) | more than 3 years ago | (#32651044)

Apple is doing a Sony, kowtow to new "options".

Re:At least they tell you.. (3, Insightful)

Deus.1.01 (946808) | more than 3 years ago | (#32651076)

Whether you agree to be put under slavery or not its still a pretty shitty gig that you should avoid by any standard.

*before someone have to ask; no I don't think buying Apple products is on the same level as voluntary slavery.

Re:At least they tell you.. (3, Insightful)

MrHanky (141717) | more than 3 years ago | (#32651096)

Certainly. But people really need to be made aware that they should not buy from Apple if they don't want to be spied on. Don't you agree?

Of course you don't: if you did, you wouldn't cough up that bullshit pseudoargument of "don't buy it if you don't like it" (i.e.: "stop complaining, as no one forces you to buy it").

Re:At least they tell you.. (0)

eV_x (180493) | more than 3 years ago | (#32651156)

Yes, my capitalist pseudoargument is a bullshit because you disagree with it. It *IS* an argument, you just don't like it and perhaps you think everyone should do things exactly as you wish simply because you think it's important. You might also think that every product should have lots of laws governing how they are made and those companies should have legislation that manages everything they do.

Whatever - if you don't like it don't buy it.

Re:At least they tell you.. (1)

MrHanky (141717) | more than 3 years ago | (#32651430)

No, your pseudoargument is bullshit because it states something reasonable ("you don't have to buy it") while arguing something which is not ("so quit whining").

Re:At least they tell you.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32651118)

You, as the consumer, have every right not to buy that phone ....

Please keep in mind that you have every right to kiss my suppurating asshole.

Re:At least they tell you.. (0, Offtopic)

eV_x (180493) | more than 3 years ago | (#32651170)

Funny coming from the guy posting anonymously! :) Hope you turned on location services so we can find you!!

Re:At least they tell you.. (3, Insightful)

kangsterizer (1698322) | more than 3 years ago | (#32651150)

You're missing the point dear fanboy nr 9283476573,5 (yeah you're a half person, at least these numbers say so! sry!)

The point is that this policy _did not exist when you bought the phone_, you are then FORCED to accept the new policy if you want to be able to get more apps, or just updates the ones you own. Oh yeah, you can also sell the phone for a lesser value than you paid for it, and likely you're subsidized so you're going to have to pay a new one full price like $500 or $600 (while your subscription to AT&T still makes you pay money for the first iPhone of course!).

Basically, owned by Apple (yet again).

Got it yet?

No opt-out??? Try https://oo.apple.com/ (1)

Savage-Rabbit (308260) | more than 3 years ago | (#32651342)

Don't buy the phone if this bothers you. That's the opt-out.

You can either go here: https://oo.apple.com/ [apple.com] on your iPhone, iPod or iPad and op out. The support page [apple.com] is typically vague and talked about disabling cookies "and other technologies in mobile advertising services" which can cover just about anything. Mind you the opt-out page showed an error (HAHA!) when I tried it with my iPhone 3GS so I'll stick with the old-fashioned solution which is to turn off location services completely. IMHO location services soak up battery life and they aren't so useful that I have to keep them switched on all the time. As far as I'm concerned the only thing location services are useful for is Google maps and that little compass app. When I need to use either I use the master switch to activate location services and de-activate them when I'm done. I could care less if my photos are geo-tagged or whether my "tweets" or FaceBook posts announce to the world where the #$#%$& I posted from. And that's assuming somebody ever manages to convince me to use Twitter or FaceBook which is highly unlikely. Even if you keep location services switched on, in iOS 4 you can now manage in detail which apps get to access them although there is presumably no way to cut off Apples tracking service.

Re:At least they tell you.. (0, Troll)

furball (2853) | more than 3 years ago | (#32651046)

By contrast, Apple gathers your information without asking you to opt in, and does not present you with the option of opting out.

ORLY?

http://support.apple.com/kb/HT4228 [apple.com]

Re:At least they tell you.. (2, Informative)

MrHanky (141717) | more than 3 years ago | (#32651106)

"Opting out applies only to Apple advertising services and does not affect" the collection and dissemination of location data.

Re:At least they tell you.. (0, Troll)

gig (78408) | more than 3 years ago | (#32651318)

You have to opt-in with Apple also. It says so right in the summary.

There is also a Location Services setting on iOS devices where you can allow/disallow various apps from accessing the location features of the device.

Re:At least they tell you.. (2, Informative)

MrHanky (141717) | more than 3 years ago | (#32651446)

Wrong. You have to agree to the new terms if you want to update you iGadget.

Re:At least they tell you.. (-1, Troll)

kklein (900361) | more than 3 years ago | (#32651520)

"Doctorow" and "correct" are not two words which collocate very often. "Reactionary," "self-righteous," and "self-aggrandizing," yes, but usually not "correct."

Re:At least they tell you.. (1)

robmv (855035) | more than 3 years ago | (#32651004)

When installing an Android application, the system warns you about the privileges you are granting, one of them is fine (GPS) and coarse (network based) location information so you can refuse to install it. There are a lot of applications I do not install for that same reason, applications that based on their functionality do not need my location

Re:At least they tell you.. (5, Informative)

Xest (935314) | more than 3 years ago | (#32651142)

"Who tells you that might be happening if you have an Android phone? Or if you install a browser that enables the geolocation services of HTML 5 on your PC (eg http://html5demos.com/geo [html5demos.com] )? No one. They don't have to."

Wrong. Each time you install an Android app, before accepting installation you've given a run down of what permissions the app requires, this includes things like internet access, or making phone calls, but also includes things like judging your rough location using cell masts etc., or judging your fine grained location using GPS. Regarding Google services doing geolocation, that's an option you'll get first time you turn your phone on and can easily change in the menus later if you choose if it has the Google apps pre-installed. I'm not sure why you think they can't stop it on Android, because Android has a marketplace too and all but the most technical users who know the risks anyway use this path for installing apps.

As for IP based geolocation on a PC, frankly I could care less. Even if I'm not using a VPN or something the best they can do is judge my location to be in an area large enough to contain a population of 20 million people. Apart from telling my country that's largely useless information, and that's all it's really used for as it's all that it can be used for, certainly it's not really enough to track you as an individual over and above what your IP already allows.

Re:At least they tell you.. (1)

wzzzzrd (886091) | more than 3 years ago | (#32651262)

I tried the link (and chromium warned me, opted out again after trying)...But seriously, how the hell does this work? My location was EXACT, and I'm not using a mobile device or anything, just a DSL and an ordinary router...Does anyone know?

Re:At least they tell you.. (1)

xaxa (988988) | more than 3 years ago | (#32651336)

The HTML5 site gave my location as Bank Station (City of London), which is 15km away. (I'm in London though).

Another site gave my location as Crawley, West Sussex, England (~50km from where I am).

This one [my-i-p.com] comes very close: it says I'm about 5km away from where I really am.

I assume various companies have gathered databases of IP locations, but some are better than others. I'm guessing my ISP (or their ISP, or whatever) is based in Crawley, and that a company with a nearby IP is based in the City, and another 5km away.

Re:At least they tell you.. (2, Interesting)

Xest (935314) | more than 3 years ago | (#32651478)

The link in question works using a browser feature that uploads information about you such as your IP, access points near you, and that sort of thing. This is why Google was farming access point data when they did street view.

So in the case of even these most intrusive things, the GP I was responding to is wrong regarding warnings, because your browser warns you. My comments were really targetted towards general IP geolocation that doesn't depend on browser uploads.

Personally I'd just keep browser based geolocation disabled, and it is by default in Firefox and I believe other browsers just like things such as password storage are.

Re:At least they tell you.. (1)

msauve (701917) | more than 3 years ago | (#32651400)

This is how Opera explains it when asking whether to enable the service:

How does geolocation work? How well does it work?

It depends on the device, and its way of connecting to the Internet.

If the device is a desktop computer, without any wireless connections, the IP address is used to determine the device's location, and the measurement is rather crude.

To determine the location of a laptop or other wireless device, Opera may in addition send the following data from nearby Wi-Fi access points:
MAC address (uniquely identifies the hardware)
signal strength (tells how far away it is)

A database of known Wi-Fi access points, together with measured signal strength, makes it possible to give rather precise location information. The success of this method depends largely on the concentration of known access points.

If the device is connected to a mobile telephone network, location data may include cell IDS of the cell towers closest to you, and their signal strength. If the device is GPS-enabled, the location may be obtained via GPS.

Any or all of the above methods may be used to determine the device's location, if the device has sufficient connectivity. In what follows, we refer to this data as the "location data".

Opera make use of Google's geolocation service. For DSL, they can easily find the location of your local central office, and DSL itself then constrains you to a particular radius. If you're connected to the DSL router via WiFi, there's your final answer. If not, maybe you have WiFi enabled, and your computer is sensing a neighbors, even if not connected.

Re:At least they tell you.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32651288)

Actually on Android there are multiple levels of security:

When you install an app you are notified if it will access your board (cell network based) or fine (GPS based) location, along with everything else the app needs to access, like internet connection etc.

When you visit a webpage that requests your location you can allow or disallow this on a per website basis.

You can disable location based services completely and your phone will still work fine without it.

Re:At least they tell you.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32651310)

What the update means is that they've relaxed the application vetting so apps that use the geolocation API aren't scrutinised as much as they used to be. Apple are telling users that apps can, and will, collect and store your location data, and that they're not going to stop them even if there's no reason for the app to be doing it. The app will still ask you if you want to share your location as it always has done.

Who tells you that might be happening if you have an Android phone? Or if you install a browser that enables the geolocation services of HTML 5 on your PC (eg http://html5demos.com/geo [html5demos.com] )? No one. They don't have to. They can't really, because there isn't a "gatekeeper" controlling it all.

Actually that's complete horsesh!t and if you knew anything about the android platform you'd already know it.

When you install an app from the android market it notifies you of services that it will need to use, based on the permissions the app is requesting. Geolocation data IS one of these permissions.

Re:At least they tell you.. (4, Informative)

tpgp (48001) | more than 3 years ago | (#32651374)

Who tells you that might be happening if you have an Android phone?

The Android Operating system tells you on installation.

Or if you install a browser that enables the geolocation services of HTML 5 on your PC?

Well, that browser is also an application - and android tells you on installation that it can access (amongst others), the following permission: "Your Location: coarse (network based) location, fine (GPS) location."

No one. They don't have to. They can't really, because there isn't a "gatekeeper" controlling it all.

Don't believe everything the iPhone fanboys tell you. The above statement is totally incorrect.

Re:At least they tell you.. (1)

Threni (635302) | more than 3 years ago | (#32651658)

> Who tells you that might be happening if you have an Android phone?

The installer tells you exactly what the app may want to do, regarding your location, contact details etc. What more do you want?

> No one. They don't have to. They can't really, because there isn't a "gatekeeper" controlling it all.

Fanboiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii............

Big deal (0, Troll)

broknstrngz (1616893) | more than 3 years ago | (#32650782)

It's as easy as clicking "I disagree" or whatever. Just don't update iTunes and you're safe. Your current version is good enough, innit?

Re:Big deal (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32650912)

"Until they agree, they cannot download anything through the store."

Lrn2read.

Won't be long before it is not (2, Insightful)

Shivetya (243324) | more than 3 years ago | (#32650914)

and you find yourself not able to get updates of any sort. Since the "i" devices are so intertwined with iTunes it pretty much guarantees you will have to keep current eventually. Having an opt out on what is nearly mandatory software isn't much an opt out is it.

THIS IS NOT A PROBLEM !! (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32650804)

This is a good thing for all concerned !!

NO, this is NOT a good thing at all for anyone (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32650828)

Except His 'I Need Your Liver and Can Pay" Steve Jobs.

Not an Apple issue (4, Informative)

Yvanhoe (564877) | more than 3 years ago | (#32650830)

Any cell phone provider has the power to do exactly this. This is despicable, that Apple or anyone else does, but this is the kind of thing we have to expect from the current carriers and the current, almost inexistent, framework of laws protecting privacy.

Re:Not an Apple issue (5, Insightful)

SupremoMan (912191) | more than 3 years ago | (#32650850)

Yes but if a cell phone carrier tried to do this, they would lose plenty of consumers to the competing carriers.

Re:Not an Apple issue (4, Insightful)

Yvanhoe (564877) | more than 3 years ago | (#32651236)

How do you know they are not already doing this ?

Re:Not an Apple issue (1)

Sir_Lewk (967686) | more than 3 years ago | (#32651474)

Cellular providers MAY be doing this. Apple IS doing this.

I wonder which one I am going to express more concern about...

It IS an Apple Issue (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32651040)

Stupid thinking.

Of course it is an Apple issue... any religion *could* tell their people to make terrorist attacks but it is only the Muslim religion the one doing that... this fact does not make Buddism a bad religion.

not that I like Buddims... i hate all religions but this is the most extreme example I found)

Re:Not an Apple issue (1)

martijnd (148684) | more than 3 years ago | (#32651406)

Sorry, what is new about this?

European GSM operators routinely sell customer locations to third parties. Real-Time traffic jam warnings used by car navigation software makes extensive use of this.

The mobile phone data is also much more accurate than Apple's application layer reporting -- as the mobile phone is always broadcasting its location.

And no, it still doesn't make me feel warm and fuzzy about apple.

Re:Not an Apple issue (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32651528)

Typically, when something related to Apple does a good thing it's Apple's "revolutionary idea". When it's wrong, it's other's (Manufacturer in China, Carriers). Could you please stop already defending Apple? Let them defend themselves, I think they are pretty big by now.

Who would trust Apple with (4, Funny)

DarkEntity (1089729) | more than 3 years ago | (#32650852)

this degree of Latitude?

Re:Who would trust Apple with (1)

smitty777 (1612557) | more than 3 years ago | (#32651294)

That's funny - we should coordinate these type o' graphic comments

do the moral thing, iPhone developers (1)

FuckingNickName (1362625) | more than 3 years ago | (#32650872)

Do the right thing: for every app you write, upload user location data every 15 minutes for three months. After that quarter, publish the movements of your users to a site with an innocuous name like, say, www.findoutwhethermyiphoneusingpartnerisacheatingbastard.com. Even if you didn't upload other identifying data, it would be very easy to filter on individuals by listing a few places you know they visit. Indeed, I'm sure any intelligence service worth its secret budget tracks people who may be carrying unregistered mobiles by simply searching a database of movements for records showing presence at (1) fairly precise locations at any sighted times; (2) the most expected typical locations around other times.

Re:do the moral thing, iPhone developers (1)

AHuxley (892839) | more than 3 years ago | (#32651148)

A cool idea, turn ad tracking and profit making back on the multinational. Expose the system to the world with easy to understand images in a press pack.
Someone is paying for the data, show what Apple is selling.
Adamo Bove, head of security at Telecom Italia did show what could be done with the tracking in the case of the CIA rendition team in Italy (2006).

The next iOS EULA (4, Funny)

Exitar (809068) | more than 3 years ago | (#32650906)

I've heard it will introduce Ius primae noctis
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Droit_de_seigneur [wikipedia.org]

The worrying part will be reading how Apple fanbois will be very proud of having Jobs "test ride" their brides.

Re:The next iOS EULA (1)

fredc97 (963879) | more than 3 years ago | (#32651326)

Actually they forgot to mention in the EULA:

For current users of iPhone 3G Apple may:

Force you to wait for several hours while iTunes displays that it is backing up your data even though it won't be able to restore anything later (also named the /dev/null clause).

Wipe all your precious photos (the memory clause)

Not give a d*mn about 3G iPhones users because they were too cheap to buy a 3GS the day it came out (the Scrooge clause)

Not allow you to restore settings per application because that would be way too useful (the early upgrader clause)

Re:The next iOS EULA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32651578)

When Apple does something "good" it's Steve Jobs' revolutionary ideas. When it's something wrong it's because of a 3r party.

So while some fanbois surely are excited about the "revolutionary" lus primae noctis,
I wonder if those not liking it will blame it on Jobs' condoms. :)
In any case, I'm positive they already have lots of lubricant at home :)

Link bait again (0, Troll)

1 inch punch (319701) | more than 3 years ago | (#32650924)

Well if the authors actually read the licensing agreement, they can choose to opt out by going to http://oo.apple.com/ [apple.com]

And, you can always totally turn off Location Services. It's under Settings>General>Location Services.

Maybe I don't need the new gen iPhone (1)

Cobratek (14456) | more than 3 years ago | (#32650936)

Hrmm ... I'm thinking that I won't need the new iPhone after all - perhaps I'll jailbreak my 3G.

I've been seeing the "this application wants to use your location" popup more often lately.

Not a big fan.

Re:Maybe I don't need the new gen iPhone (0, Troll)

eV_x (180493) | more than 3 years ago | (#32650970)

I don't believe this has anything to do with iPhone 4 - it's iOS, which you run jailbroken or not. I'm not baiting you here but why do you care about an anonymous account of your location?

Redownload (2, Interesting)

mwvdlee (775178) | more than 3 years ago | (#32650968)

Can you still re-download apps you purchased under an old agreement without signing the new agreement?

Re:Redownload (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32651600)

That is grasping at straws. Would you expect that? Rather... WHY would you expect that?

Finally a tool for locating 'cheap' iPads (2, Funny)

slincolne (1111555) | more than 3 years ago | (#32651016)

There have been many attempts by people to track down stocks of iPads in shops - now Apple is building a database of what iPads are where.

Considering the other attractive, valuable goods their owners may also have the value of this data to criminals will be quite high.

Of course it is safe (you can trust Apple) and their servers are secure (nobody ever hacked a Mac) and their partners can be trusted (AT&T are a good company).

:-)

Apple will backpeddle on this (0)

erroneus (253617) | more than 3 years ago | (#32651066)

Just as Apple has done many things associated with iPhone and the like and later backpeddled, Apple will likely backpeddle on this one as well. Believe it or not, Apple's market share is still small enough that just about any outcry from users will get some response. And the growing Android market share is only going to make user complaints even more difficult to ignore. But this is no reason to not complain and even protest. This is a necessary mechanism by which Apple "communicates" with its customers.

Like it or not, this is all part of capitalism in that it is all about what the market will bear. I don't like it but that's the way it is and it is more than Apple that is interested in collecting and selling data.

Apple is still of concern but not as much of one as some others. AT&T, for example, is too big to listen to its customers and does pretty much what it pleases. Verizon too. I use these two in order to contrast the difference in size of the operation and the amount of backpeddling a company demonstrates. Apple is Big, but it's not AT&T big, so they will still listen to complaints.

Re:Apple will backpeddle on this (1)

AHuxley (892839) | more than 3 years ago | (#32651162)

They will Google out of it with the word 'mistake'?

Re:Apple will backpeddle on this (1)

erroneus (253617) | more than 3 years ago | (#32651228)

No, they will say something in "corporate speak" that translates to "We are very sorry, but we didn't think anyone would actually notice this."

Re:Apple will backpeddle on this (1)

mjwx (966435) | more than 3 years ago | (#32651302)

Just as Apple has done many things associated with iPhone and the like and later backpeddled, later when all this has blown over it will be re-introduced

There, fixed that for you.

I think Apple has well and truly planned for any potential backlash. They'll backpedal and say "look we care about your privacy" and two months later Apple will be selling your data to the highest bidder.

Anybody care to comment on... (3, Interesting)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | more than 3 years ago | (#32651072)

Firstly, will this bring about any (if present) early termination clause in contracts as a "significant change in terms?"

Secondly, as this is Hobson's Choice [wikipedia.org] (Accept or lose access to the App Store) will it fall foul of unfair terms in consumer contract legislation?

There is a simple fix (3, Informative)

blake1 (1148613) | more than 3 years ago | (#32651128)

Settings > General > Location Services

Now you can choose which apps are able to access your location information, or disable this feature altogether. Was that really so hard?

Re:There is a simple fix (5, Informative)

kangsterizer (1698322) | more than 3 years ago | (#32651174)

Except that's only for apps you download/run. It's nice but.. ... your phone is still sending regular "anonymized" data to Apple (and only Apple, which then sells it to 3rd parties) according to TFA.

Re:There is a simple fix (1)

blake1 (1148613) | more than 3 years ago | (#32651252)

That's purely speculative. Also one would assume that setting Location Services to 'off' will infact turn off location services.

Just opt out... (5, Informative)

aardwolf64 (160070) | more than 3 years ago | (#32651210)

That's about iAd, coming out July 1. According to the agreement (which practically no one reads), you can opt out by visiting this website with your iOS device:

http://oo.apple.com/ [apple.com]

Steve has Altered the Deal... (5, Funny)

16K Ram Pack (690082) | more than 3 years ago | (#32651290)

... pray he does not alter it further.

Too bad this is slashdot (0, Offtopic)

phooka.de (302970) | more than 3 years ago | (#32651386)

Owning both an iPhone and an iPad, I was interested in details, interested if I can stop this in any way (as in denying individual apps access to the GPS-data).

But then I remembered (and a quick look at the discussion told me I was right): This Is Slashdot!

What that means is, that 80% of all postings are Apple-haters telling themselves and the world how bad apple is and 20% are fanboys in denial. There used to be a time when you would actually find interesting information about a topic on slashdot if you read the comments. Nowadays you can just plain forget about that, at least if the topic has anything to do with Apple (or Microsoft, Google...).

*sighs sadly*

Re:Too bad this is slashdot (1)

whisper_jeff (680366) | more than 3 years ago | (#32651682)

http://apple.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=1693596&cid=32651210 [slashdot.org]

And, interestingly enough, that post was made before yours. Perhaps you'd like to read slashdot more thoroughly - while there may be the haters and fanbois and Steve-is-the-Dark-Side jokes, there's also informative and interesting posts to be found.

Overreacting (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32651392)

I bet you are all overreacting. I think this is just a reminder that some apps and services are location aware and because of that, they grab your location. Who cares anyway, I bet you're still on facebook. I bet you have a resume out on monster or career builder that has your address on it. Also, if you dont like the terms, than disagree to them and switch to another platform. Man it is like your feet are being held to the fire to buy and operate an iPhone

Google (1)

helix2301 (1105613) | more than 3 years ago | (#32651418)

This is like google maps on the blackberry and windows mobile you can actually track where people go. I am glad to see there is a way to turn this feature off.

brave new world (0)

Atreide (16473) | more than 3 years ago | (#32651454)

what next ?

"Welcome in democracy 2.0
You will be allowed to buy food only after you accept the new state constitution.
Where we declare you now leave in a liberalist dictature."

?

One pod (1)

Atreide (16473) | more than 3 years ago | (#32651482)

Hail to Lord Steve who did remarquable Jobs :

"One Apple to rule them all, One Apple to find them,
One Apple to bring them all and in the darkness bind (blind ?) them."

Or as Hamlett might have said, something is rotten in the board of Apple.

There is an opt out process... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32651492)

"Apple posted a Knowledge Base article, detailing how users can elect not to share their data with the ad service. To opt out, users will need to visit http://oo.apple.com with a device running iOS 4 or later. According to the document, users will see the message “You have successfully opted out” if the process is working; otherwise, “Opt out not successful” will appear. Apple does note that the process is device-specific, so users will have to opt out individually for each iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad they own."

You can still download apps.

Somebody tell me again ... (1)

elronxenu (117773) | more than 3 years ago | (#32651530)

... why, in order to buy music, I have to agree to let Apple sell my location to unknown businesses? What exactly is it about the music transaction that has anything at all to do with my location and some other company that have no relationship with?

It's like going to the shop to buy an ice-cream and coming back to find some squatter living in your house.

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