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Apple Discusses iOS Privacy Issues Before Congress

CmdrTaco posted more than 3 years ago | from the it-was-an-accident-we-swear dept.

IOS 132

An anonymous reader writes "Earlier today, Apple's VP of software technology, Guy L. 'Bud' Tribble appeared before a congressional hearing on mobile privacy to address concerns that were first brought to the forefront following the 'location tracking' controversy that emerged a few weeks ago."

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GET STEVE JOBS !! (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36086332)

Stick it to the man, man !!

NoooooO! (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36086446)

Business: "Blah balh balh baahh ab;lhnz'l;kcj[a'j hatever ..."

Congress: " Well balhh abllhaofha;fh;adh;afh"

business: No sir because: "alfja;dfhadf;af;a"

Congress: "You're right. here's some laws that benefit you!"

End of story.

Re:GET STEVE JOBS !! (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36086690)

You know all it'll take is His Eminence The Almighty Savior Steve Jobs(tm) showing up before Congress, waving his hand a bit, and saying "we need that tracking data or else the next color^Wgeneration of iPhones will be delayed". Then the matter will be immediately dropped, profuse apologies by the highest-ranking senators and legislators will be issued, and Saint Jobs will be compensated by Congress for the time he was forced to spend away from Apple.

And then he'll wave his hand around again and try to convince them to stop Amazon and Google from doing anything relating to music, ever.

Re:GET STEVE JOBS !! (1)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 3 years ago | (#36087106)

"We need that tracking data otherwise how can I locate my next liver donor?"

Advice (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36086340)

Remember Guy, the fifth amendment is your friend.

Re:Advice (-1, Troll)

Jeremiah Cornelius (137) | more than 3 years ago | (#36086590)

Facebook and Google use you like a $10 whore, but Apple is dragged in front of the kangaroo court. It goes to show: "Disinformation wants to be free" .

Re:Advice (1)

Predius (560344) | more than 3 years ago | (#36086738)

Uhhh... Google was dragged before the same kangaroo court, which you'd know if you RTFA.

Re:Advice (2)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | more than 3 years ago | (#36086774)

TFS really isn't worth a lot, and TFA seems to be an ego-centric Apple article. But, people who keep up with the news already knew that there were going to be more people than Apple's shills testifying at that hearing. First Google hit on my set of search terms: http://mediadecoder.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/05/10/congress-hears-from-apple-and-google-on-privacy/?partner=rss&emc=rss [nytimes.com]

You can use your own search terms - or, you can just read the news headlines from most of the major news outlets. It ain't about Apple. It's about citizen's right to privacy.

Re:Advice (0)

macs4all (973270) | more than 3 years ago | (#36088220)

It ain't about Apple. It's about citizen's right to privacy.

Yeah, and we're really kicking that one in the butt [time.com] ...

Gimme a break! Apple keeps some cell-tower data in a database they didn't size correctly (data that was way too coarse-grained and coarse-timed to do much of anything anyway), then they FIX it without even being made to, and yet THEY are the bad guys? Gimme a break!

Read the linked Time Magazine article, above, if you want to identify REAL eeeee-vil. And the Courts are just FINE with it.

The trouble... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36086380)

...with Tribbles

Re:The trouble... (2)

EraserMouseMan (847479) | more than 3 years ago | (#36086512)

Yea, no wonder iPhones seem to be multiplying like jack rabbits.

Re:The trouble... (1)

Cwix (1671282) | more than 3 years ago | (#36086676)

Really/ I haven't seen one in months. I saw an iPad the other day though.

Re:The trouble... (1)

dwillden (521345) | more than 3 years ago | (#36087162)

Crap! too true. That means not only are they multiplying like jack rabbits but they are mutating in size and shape. Within a few years they will achieve the perfect 1:4:9 proportions and the apple iMonoliths will take over the galaxy.

Re:The trouble... (1)

peragrin (659227) | more than 3 years ago | (#36087334)

Actually the iMonoliths will turn Jupiter into a second sun so the His royal Highness Steve Jobs can finally take off his black turtleneck while living in CA.

Re:The trouble... (1)

macs4all (973270) | more than 3 years ago | (#36088278)

Crap! too true. That means not only are they multiplying like jack rabbits but they are mutating in size and shape. Within a few years they will achieve the perfect 1:4:9 proportions and the apple iMonoliths will take over the galaxy.

Boy, do I wish I had some graphics skills! I can't believe no one has done an iPhone == Monolith parody; but I couldn't find one. If my search-fu is just weak, someone please post a link!

Re:The trouble... (1)

Kiaser Zohsay (20134) | more than 3 years ago | (#36086532)

My first thought was "Dude, is that really your name [wikipedia.org] ?"

How it went... (1)

Bobfrankly1 (1043848) | more than 3 years ago | (#36086408)

Earlier today, Apple's VP of software technology, Guy L. 'Bud' Tribble appeared before a congressional hearing on mobile privacy to address concerns that were first brought to the forefront following the 'location tracking' controversy that emerged a few weeks ago.

How did you do it?
Can you do it again without it being discovered?
We would like to introduce you to your contact at the FBI.

Re:How it went... (5, Insightful)

DJRumpy (1345787) | more than 3 years ago | (#36088208)

If you had read the article, you would know that the info Apple stores relates to cell tower locations, and wifi hotspots. No identifying information is sent to Apple at all, and they would have no way of identifying you even if approached by the FBI. They would have to get their hands on your phone, which within a few days, already had a fix to remove the cache after a few days, and you can permanently delete it just by turning off the location services.

If it got to the point where warrants were issued, they could easily collect device specific info from the Cell providers. Apple's data didn't even have device specific identifiers.

Google on the other hand started talking about 'Openess' and finding 'balance', when their response was anything but. They basically stated that they weren't responsible for how the app's handled location data and that it was up to the app developers to be responsible. Of the two, I think Apples response was appropriate, both in patching the bug in the OS, and in anonymizing the data they do collect to begin with.

From TFA:

Subsequently, a notable exchange between Google rep Alan Davidson. Trying to dance around how Google handles location settings in Android, Davidson explained:
We’re trying to increase openness, but it’s not no-holds-barred. We do have a content policy in our market. We don’t go after trucking companies for carrying faulty goods, you go after the manufacturer. There’s a balance.
Not buying it, Senator Sheldon Whitehouse fired back:
You do go after the trucking company if they know what they’re carrying. Google’s in a better position to know what’s going on than a seventeen year old that wants to try a cool app. I don’t think that’s a comfortable analogy for you to rely on.

This kind of response from Microsoft or Apple would never be tolerated on slashdot. This thread just seems to be glossing over Google's response. The proper response from both companies is to work to provide better protections. Apple has already taken those steps within a few days of the bug being reported. Google just sidestepped the question with no commitment to finding a better approach.

Disappointing.

Watch out for your cornhold "Bud" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36086448)

etc

Re:Watch out for your cornhold "Bud" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36087178)

I believe the correct term is "Corn Crib" and houses almost universally don't have them anymore.

Questioning (2, Insightful)

tripleevenfall (1990004) | more than 3 years ago | (#36086500)

I think Facebook and Google need to be drug out before these commissions as well.

We need serious laws with serious teeth on privacy in every space - home internet, mobile data, and everywhere else. CLEAR opt ins and opt outs, not garbage buried in a TOS document no one reads.

The BIGGEST problem is that most people and corporations think it's OK to collect personal information and location data as long as "this can't be tied back to an individual person". That is NOT OK.

Re:Questioning (2)

jrj102 (87650) | more than 3 years ago | (#36086526)

I think Facebook and Google need to be drug out before these commissions as well.

Google did testify. However, where Apple sent a VP, Google sent a lobbyist. I believe you will be able to watch the archived hearings on CSpan once they've been posted.

Re:Questioning (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36086662)

The BIGGEST problem is that most people and corporations think it's OK to collect personal information and location data as long as "this can't be tied back to an individual person". That is NOT OK.

Why is having data that can't be tied back to a single person not OK? Most of the arguments I've heard against collection of user data have to deal with individual users' privacy and possible abuses by the government for surveillance. If the data can't be tied back to a single person, I don't see a problem.

In practice, though, a lot of data can be tied to a single person....

Re:Questioning (2)

huzur79 (1441705) | more than 3 years ago | (#36088104)

And besides Apple was not tracking data and sending it back to itself either. The tracking was local on the device and stayed local on the device to help the device operate better. BIG difference if it was actually being sent BACK to Apple. And it was not actually tracking a persons location but wifi and tower locations around a person which in itself gives a general location of where a person has been. This issue has been seriously blown out of proportion .

Re:Questioning (1, Interesting)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | more than 3 years ago | (#36086788)

At the risk of being redundant - I'll repost the same thing I posted above:

TFS really isn't worth a lot, and TFA seems to be an ego-centric Apple article. But, people who keep up with the news already knew that there were going to be more people than Apple's shills testifying at that hearing. First Google hit on my set of search terms: http://mediadecoder.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/05/10/congress-hears-from-apple-and-google-on-privacy/?partner=rss&emc=rss [nytimes.com] [nytimes.com]

You can use your own search terms - or, you can just read the news headlines from most of the major news outlets. It ain't about Apple. It's about citizen's right to privacy.

Re:Questioning (0)

EraserMouseMan (847479) | more than 3 years ago | (#36086840)

Naw. Just Apple. According to Steve Android is fragmented and it will just wither up and die. So no point in having Google show up. They're just as good as dead already. And Steve thinks the best Facebook user-experience is through Safari or the iPhone app. So, once again, no need to grill Facebook. Just grill Apple.

Re:Questioning (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36087094)

Maybe you should try RTFA. Then you can take a few minutes to see how to spin it to defend Apple and come back and make a comment that is not so obviously wrong. Hint, the end of the article quotes dialog between Google rep Alan Davidson and Senator Sheldon Whitehouse.

Re:Questioning (1)

EraserMouseMan (847479) | more than 3 years ago | (#36087378)

Thanks AC. Here's a hint for you: Please put the ear buds back in.

Re:Questioning (5, Informative)

samkass (174571) | more than 3 years ago | (#36086970)

Google also testified today.

Apple sent an Engineering PhD VP to describe the measures they've taken to make sure the potential privacy violations don't happen again.

Google sent a Congressional lobbyist to tell people how wonderful it is that Google can use your personal information to make better products.

Re:Questioning (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36087734)

Cool. You can parrot John Gruber. That's an unbiased source.

Re:Questioning (1)

macs4all (973270) | more than 3 years ago | (#36088330)

Cool. You can parrot John Gruber. That's an unbiased source.

Or, we can just parrot you: An ANONYMOUS COWARD.

Re:Questioning (2)

Salvo (8037) | more than 3 years ago | (#36087056)

Gowalla, Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, Foursquare, Latitude are all opt-in location tracking services. They may need to be dragged out over how easy it is to opt-in, but in the end, it's user choice. Users can refuse these Apps and Services access to the location APIs in iOS.

Android, however would need to reassess their Quasi-Open, Wild-West-style Android Marketplace to combat User Privacy issues. Apps aren't sandboxed away from the Location APIs like in iOS, so Google have no control over whether a users location is being tracked or not. Malware could be installed on an Android that tracks location and the User wouldn't know. Google haven't even come out and stated that they aren't tracking devices.

Apple's crowdsourced location data ends up in a big pool. The data can not only not "be tied back to an individual person", but also can't be tied back to a unique dataset either (which further degrades it's usefulness for data-mining).

Re:Questioning (1)

dgatwood (11270) | more than 3 years ago | (#36087676)

They may need to be dragged out over how easy it is to opt-in

And how hard it is to opt back out. Unless they've fixed it recently, if you tap on the "Check-in" button in the iPhone app just out of curiosity to see what it is and how it works, from then on, Facebook asks for permission to use your location every time you run the d**n app, whether you use the check-in feature or not. Can you say obnoxious? The only way I've found to fix it is to delete the Facebook app entirely and reinstall it.

The bigger concern is that with an app like Facebook doing this at every launch instead of just when you use the check-in feature, the average user will become so conditioned to clicking "Allow" at this prompt that after a while, the privacy feature will lose all meaning.

Re:Questioning (1)

immaterial (1520413) | more than 3 years ago | (#36088710)

They may need to be dragged out over how easy it is to opt-in

And how hard it is to opt back out. Unless they've fixed it recently, if you tap on the "Check-in" button in the iPhone app just out of curiosity to see what it is and how it works, from then on, Facebook asks for permission to use your location every time you run the d**n app, whether you use the check-in feature or not. Can you say obnoxious? The only way I've found to fix it is to delete the Facebook app entirely and reinstall it.

I know it can be hard to find, here's a tip: Settings -> Location Services

Re:Questioning (1)

Kalriath (849904) | more than 3 years ago | (#36087790)

Android, however would need to reassess their Quasi-Open, Wild-West-style Android Marketplace to combat User Privacy issues. Apps aren't sandboxed away from the Location APIs like in iOS, so Google have no control over whether a users location is being tracked or not. Malware could be installed on an Android that tracks location and the User wouldn't know. Google haven't even come out and stated that they aren't tracking devices.

Attempting to access the Location API without having declared that you want that permission (and therefore the user being asked during installation) results in SecurityManager denying your request. Have you even looked at an Android device?

Re:Questioning (2)

Altus (1034) | more than 3 years ago | (#36087834)

Is that true for apps that are side loaded onto an android device, or only ones that come from an app store (or only ones that come from googles app store)? Honest question, I don't have a Android device of my own to try it on.

Re:Questioning (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36087496)

Unfortunately the Republicans will fight that tooth and nail, because privacy rights are politically entangled with abortion rights. The Dems will fight it tooth and nail because they are slaves to the kinds of high tech and entertainment corporations that are casually abrading what privacy we do have.

Just Like Hearings About The Economic Collapse (5, Insightful)

crow_t_robot (528562) | more than 3 years ago | (#36086506)

Considering that the hearings about the economic collapse didn't result in any jail time or even any fines for the perpetrators, Tribble should just show up in flip-flops and a t-shirt while drunk and say "What's up, sluts? I hope this isn't going to take very long....yea, we violate privacy but considering you didn't do anything about Wall Street execs that literally raped this country out of trillions of dollars I'm sure as shit you are going to get off your fat asses for some lousy cellphone privacy issues! Peace out, bitches, catch you on the flippity flop!"

Re:Just Like Hearings About The Economic Collapse (5, Insightful)

geminidomino (614729) | more than 3 years ago | (#36086524)

Wall Street execs that literally raped this country out of trillions of dollars

That word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

Re:Just Like Hearings About The Economic Collapse (1)

tripleevenfall (1990004) | more than 3 years ago | (#36086560)

That word also does not apply when the politicians who voted for those bills did it cheerfully and willingly.

Re:Just Like Hearings About The Economic Collapse (1)

royallthefourth (1564389) | more than 3 years ago | (#36086570)

Nah bro it's literary. The character "Tribble" is who you don't think knows what that word means.

Re:Means (2)

TaoPhoenix (980487) | more than 3 years ago | (#36086582)

Yes it does.

The Corps slid into our fiduciary trust and smoothly moved money in and out of our bank accounts, and becoming quite excited in the process. Then they embraced us and extended us more products. They nearly extinguished the economy.

Re:Means (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36086650)

That description is literally figurative.

Re:Just Like Hearings About The Economic Collapse (1)

ae1294 (1547521) | more than 3 years ago | (#36086592)

Wall Street execs that literally raped this country out of trillions of dollars

That word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

I'm not 100% sure but I think it fits in this case...

Re:Just Like Hearings About The Economic Collapse (1)

norminator (784674) | more than 3 years ago | (#36086896)

Maybe he understands that word, but not the next one.

Re:Just Like Hearings About The Economic Collapse (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36086906)

I dunno... my ass hurts alot when i think about the goverment.

Re:Just Like Hearings About The Economic Collapse (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36087048)

I dunno... my ass hurts alot when i think about the goverment.

May I suggest removing your head from your ass before thinking.

Re:Just Like Hearings About The Economic Collapse (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36086918)

Wall Street execs that literally raped this country out of trillions of dollars

That word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

TFTFY
(They didn't rape, but they literally did something.)

Re:Just Like Hearings About The Economic Collapse (1)

bb5ch39t (786551) | more than 3 years ago | (#36087358)

Perhaps "pillage" would be a more exact word.

Re:Just Like Hearings About The Economic Collapse (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36087224)

You realize that "rape" doesn't merely have a sexual definition, right?

Re:Just Like Hearings About The Economic Collapse (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36087718)

Right. It has a LITERAL definition and a FIGURATIVE definition. Fucking cretin.

Re:Just Like Hearings About The Economic Collapse (1)

bennomatic (691188) | more than 3 years ago | (#36087452)

Actually, two of the definitions of 'rape' are correct for that statement. One is to plunder or despoil. The other is to seize or carry off by force. They are indeed archaic definitions and not in common use, but if we're going to be pedantic, let's do it right.

Of course, there's a feedback loop on these sorts of definitions, amirite? One can also say, "John took Joan right then..." and in this case, "taking" clearly has a sexual--and likely forceful, although not necessarily non-consensual--meaning.

Re:Just Like Hearings About The Economic Collapse (1)

Bryan3000000 (1356999) | more than 3 years ago | (#36087596)

I don't know, he just might. It would explain certain feelings I've been having. Shame, and a burning sensation.

Re:Just Like Hearings About The Economic Collapse (3, Informative)

revscat (35618) | more than 3 years ago | (#36087630)

Actually, it does. From New Oxford American Dictionary:

informal used for emphasis or to express strong feeling while not being literally true : I have received literally thousands of letters.

Re:Just Like Hearings About The Economic Collapse (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36086642)

LMAO!

Re:Just Like Hearings About The Economic Collapse (1)

purpledinoz (573045) | more than 3 years ago | (#36087064)

I love what Congress latches onto. Although this iPhone location file deal is a big deal, it seems to me that there are more important issues that should be discussed. Like maybe throwing the banksters who caused the financial crisis in jail. But at least it's more important than the hearings about steroids in baseball.

Re:Just Like Hearings About The Economic Collapse (1)

macs4all (973270) | more than 3 years ago | (#36088398)

I love what Congress latches onto. Although this iPhone location file deal is a big deal, it seems to me that there are more important issues that should be discussed. Like maybe throwing the banksters who caused the financial crisis in jail. But at least it's more important than the hearings about steroids in baseball.

Boy, that ain't no shit!

Re:Just Like Hearings About The Economic Collapse (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36087100)

Yeah, you are an idiot.

Re:Just Like Hearings About The Economic Collapse (2)

Salvo (8037) | more than 3 years ago | (#36087170)

I'm not saying that any Senators could possibly be corrupt, but the banking industry can fund an awful lot of "Lobbyists".

Apple could too, but by sending a Senior Engineer to rationally and logically explain how Apple are doing everything they can to protect user privacy, they are putting forward the idea that Commercial Interests and Customer Privacy can coexist.

It's said the the iPhone is Apple's Product and the User is Apple's Customer, while Users are Google Product and Advertisers are Google's Customer. When the User can no longer be sold, Google's business model collapses.

Maybe that is why Google followed the Banking Industry's lead and sent a Lobbyist

Re:Just Like Hearings About The Economic Collapse (1)

Em Adespoton (792954) | more than 3 years ago | (#36087744)

The issue here is that Congress is in trouble if the banking industry collapses, therefore it is against their best interests to call for stiff penalties. However, if Apple collapses, they can just switch to Android phones, or Windows phones. No biggie. Apple realized this I'm sure, and so has shown that they're taking the issue seriously.

However, Google appears to be attempting to spin it: "We're like the banks... if you pursue this, the smartphone industry will collapse. If you don't, you'll get all these great features from great companies."

Re:Just Like Hearings About The Economic Collapse (1)

Altus (1034) | more than 3 years ago | (#36087866)

What makes you think that Apple needs location data in order to make their business model work? There is no evidence at all that their business model is based on selling user information, in fact, its based primarily on selling hardware (which is combined with integrated software to provide what should be a desirable end user experience). Google, on the other hand, makes their money from advertising and therefor demographic and location information is actually quite central to the way they make money.

Please dont mod "funny" comments as something else (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36087218)

Some of us don't want to read "Funny" comments and set up our profile to mod them down. If you erroneously mod a "funny" comment as something else, even with the good intention of protecting someones karma, you are damaging the experience of other slashdot users. Thank you.

Re:Just Like Hearings About The Economic Collapse (1)

ph4cr (775696) | more than 3 years ago | (#36088090)

FUNNY!

Re:Just Like Hearings About The Economic Collapse (1)

macs4all (973270) | more than 3 years ago | (#36088370)

Considering that the hearings about the economic collapse didn't result in any jail time or even any fines for the perpetrators, Tribble should just show up in flip-flops and a t-shirt while drunk and say "What's up, sluts? I hope this isn't going to take very long....yea, we violate privacy but considering you didn't do anything about Wall Street execs that literally raped this country out of trillions of dollars I'm sure as shit you are going to get off your fat asses for some lousy cellphone privacy issues! Peace out, bitches, catch you on the flippity flop!"

+4 Insightful?!? Really? IN-SIGHT-FUL????

Abandon ye all hope who post here!

while Apple deserves blame... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36086516)

While Apple certainly deserves a lot of blame, so do all the people who purchased their products. It has been clear for ages that their model is one of lockdown and control. If you support that kind of thing financially, you bear some of the responsibility for the direction that our society seems to be going: erosion of personal ownership and transfer of control to multinational corporations.

Your actions should reflect how you want the world to be. If you act opposite of that, in the end, you will get exactly what you deserve to get. Buy a machine that treats you as an enemy, and don't act surprised at the results.

This goes for all kinds of things. We now have more and more single player games that require a network connection for permission to play **because people keep buying them**. As long as the next shiny-shiny is more important than how far you have to bend over, we will get what we deserve to get. No laws can ever change this, because laws are a trailing fix; they can't prevent the next form of abuse.

Re:while Apple deserves blame... (2, Insightful)

tripleevenfall (1990004) | more than 3 years ago | (#36086586)

I don't think it's a crime for someone to buy Apple products. Let the free markets be free. However, you understand going in that you're going to be locked in, in some ways - and if you don't, you still bear the weight of that choice because you didn't do your homework.

That being said, it's simply a question of whether it's reasonable to expect that Apple users will move to any other service. No, they will likely not. As we see in practically every marketplace in IT, vendor-lock in is a powerful force.

Re:while Apple deserves blame... (4, Insightful)

thetartanavenger (1052920) | more than 3 years ago | (#36087098)

While Apple certainly deserves a lot of blame, so do all the people who purchased their products. It has been clear for ages that their model is one of lockdown and control. If you support that kind of thing financially, you bear some of the responsibility for the direction that our society seems to be going: erosion of personal ownership and transfer of control to multinational corporations.

Those purchasing deserve blame for what exactly. Yes they lock down their devices, so what. Some people want that, others don't which is why we have competition and alternatives like Android. When Apple crossed a line with personal privacy people stood up and complained and it was resolved. Yes there should be more protections in place to prevent this kind of incident, but those purchasing clearly didn't like what happened and Apple was put in its place. If they didn't, /then/ go ahead and transfer the blame, but until then all the consumers have done is purchase a device in a safe ecosystem that they can't break. If you don't like the restrictions then don't buy it..

Re:while Apple deserves blame... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36088004)

You are a liberal so your thoughts and comments are meaningless. However, you should run for public office because you will be able to loot those who produce.

Re:while Apple deserves blame... (1)

Angostura (703910) | more than 3 years ago | (#36088474)

I'm all ears, in what way is the fact that Apple locally caches cellphone tower and WiFi location data on a device in anyway connected to its policy of operating a tightly curated app-store and locking down the device?

Re:while Apple deserves blame... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36088848)

How did this dickhead get modded as anything other than 'Troll'?

All Apple has to do ... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36086598)

... is tell congress that they're baking features into the OS for what the DHS will want from them ...

Trouble with Tribble (1, Informative)

Sponge Bath (413667) | more than 3 years ago | (#36086628)

"Tribble said that Apple doesn’t track user location and has no plans to ever do so in the future."

"Tribble acknowledged that the location data in question was not encrypted but that it will be in the next major iOS update."

So the Apple device tracks and stores your location, but Apple the company does not. That's comforting.

Re:Trouble with Tribble (3, Informative)

rritterson (588983) | more than 3 years ago | (#36086700)

Apple PR failed to remove a lot of the misconceptions about the little location file on the device, so let me take a crack. The location information on the iPhone is not YOUR location, but rather a collection of location data points that includes the cell towers in the local vicinity, some of which could be up to 100 miles away. As a result, the phone is not storing your location, but instead just downloading a bit of cache data so it can look up your location faster when you want it to. That responds to the 'storing' part of your post. With respect to tracking, if you know a way for a navigation app to give you directions and locate you, but not track you, I'd like to hear it. In the meantime, if you would like the phone to NOT know where you are, period, just switch off 'location services', which, as of 4.2.3, also deletes the local cache database.

Meanwhile, all sorts of information about your location is leaked by all the devices you use. One trivial example is your IP address, which, while not a precise locator, gives the other end some idea about where you are (assuming no proxies, etc etc)

Re:Trouble with Tribble (1, Insightful)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 3 years ago | (#36086736)

. The location information on the iPhone is not YOUR location, but rather a collection of location data points that includes the cell towers in the local vicinity,

English Translation: It stores your location, just not very accurately.

Re:Trouble with Tribble (3)

gnasher719 (869701) | more than 3 years ago | (#36087498)

English Translation: It stores your location, just not very accurately.

Mistranslation. It stores several locations all around the point where the phone was. Now if we ignore the fact that nobody can lay their hands on this data without stealing my phone or computer, in which case (1) my phone or computer is gone, and (2) there are things like email, address book, browser cache that I worry about a lot lot more, and if we ignore the fact that there is very little someone could do with _exact_ information where I have been, information that shows my location within half a mile is completely useless to anyone.

Re:Trouble with Tribble (1)

SJ (13711) | more than 3 years ago | (#36088780)

...for varying values of "accurately"...

I know the exact location of every person in North America.

North America.

Re:Trouble with Tribble (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36087030)

Spoken like a true Apple apologist. "Apple can do no wrong, even though they're testifying before congress for wrong that they haven't done, and besides, the public are the ones that are wrong, not Apple! Apple is good! Apple is our saviour! STEVE HEIL! STEVE HEIL! STEVE HEIL!"

Re:Trouble with Tribble (1)

UncleTogie (1004853) | more than 3 years ago | (#36086704)

"Tribble said that Apple doesnâ(TM)t track user location and has no plans to ever do so in the future."

".... unless law enforcement agencies come a-calling, in which case you're screwed."

Re:Trouble with Tribble (2)

Salvo (8037) | more than 3 years ago | (#36086872)

The only way you have been track an iPhone is if the device is configured to use MS Exchange or MobileMe.

The Device records location data (not your precise location), and uploads location data (without any unique identifiers), but doesn't track your location (unless you tell it too with Apps like Gowalla and Google Latitude).

If Law Enforcement went to Apple and said "I want to know UncleTogie's movements for the last week", and you don't have MobileMe, Apple would have nothing to give them.
They may however use Google Latitude, Gowalla, Foursquare to track you with Public information you posted on purpose, or use Cree.py to track you by Twitter or Flickr pictures. They could also contact your phone company and triangulate you via Cell Towers, as they did to Mitnick in 1995.

Re:Trouble with Tribble (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36087024)

"If Law Enforcement went to Apple and said "I want to know UncleTogie's movements for the last week", and you don't have MobileMe, Apple would have nothing to give them."

You don't know what you are talking about.

Apple and AT&T would both be capable of giving precise location data for a phone. And yes, they can tell you
who owns the phone. It is true that they only know where the phone has been, though. Which in your case
would probably be a fixed point in your mother's basement.

Re:Trouble with Tribble (1)

Altus (1034) | more than 3 years ago | (#36087922)

Of course, law enforcement would actually go to your wireless provider and ask them for the information and they actually have access to that information and will be more than happy to provide it.

Re:Trouble with Tribble (1)

david_thornley (598059) | more than 3 years ago | (#36087336)

Hint: If law enforcement agencies want to know where your phone has been, they don't have to search for a list of approximate locations in your iPhone or its backup. All they do is ask your cell provider. That's why you should never carry your cell phone anywhere you don't want the police to know you've been, and that applies if you've got an iPhone, an Android, or the cheapo model that came free with the lowest-price contract.

Really, guys, this is no big deal. Some of you do think there's nothing like a good Apple-bashing, and this is nothing like a good Apple-bashing.

Re:Trouble with Tribble (2)

Altus (1034) | more than 3 years ago | (#36087904)

You know that firefox keeps copies of web sites you visit on your computer. They say its just so that they can load pages faster, but I know that all of that data is being secretly sent to the firefox cabal who are secretly selling that information to the highest bidder. I know because I read about it all on slashdot.

Caches like this are common and for good reason. Sure, it would be better if the file was always encrypted and it would be better if it was trimmed down to only a couple of days worth of data, but all that takes developer time and since this file isn't accessible on phones that have not had their warranty voided I'm sure the developer in question didn't even consider this a problem.

But sure, its much more fun to imagine that there is some kind of grand conspiracy at apple that goes beyond selling a bunch of fucking iPhones and making boat loads of money doing it.

Re:Trouble with Tribble (1)

Sponge Bath (413667) | more than 3 years ago | (#36088186)

"You know that firefox keeps copies of web sites you visit on your computer."

Unless you are browsing in privacy mode. Apart from that, it is a matter of trust. On one hand you have a mature, widely used open source project maintained by many developers and access to the source code. On the other you have the secretive profit driven control freakery of Apple and the closed iDevices that inhabit its walled garden.

--
Sent from my iTracker

Cell phone or unknown location. Choose one. (1)

Gorimek (61128) | more than 3 years ago | (#36088304)

Any cell phone that displays your location needs to track and store it in some form.

Smart phones aside, one of the main purposes of a cell phone is to constantly transmit it's location to the cell phone network, which stores it.

Re:Trouble with Tribble (3, Insightful)

Angostura (703910) | more than 3 years ago | (#36088522)

You know what, the hard disk in this PC I'm using records *every piece* of personal data that I produce on it, documents, spreadsheets - the lot. It even records some passwords. That's bad right? As far as I know, the data isn't being sent to HP, but do you think I should format the drive every day?

Re:Trouble with Tribble (1)

Sponge Bath (413667) | more than 3 years ago | (#36088776)

...do you think I should format the drive every day?

It's worth a shot, let me know how it works out.

Why? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36086810)

As someone said in another forum about the same trial: Put these in the order you trust, Apple, Google, US Congress...

I'd add the Department of Homeland Security to that list too... Somehow I trust Apple and Google a bit more than those two. At least I can sell my iPhone if I think this is really an issue. In the mean time, Please go back to trying to come up with a way to not overspend spending my tax money.

Star Trek (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36086858)

Trouble with Tribbles?

Solution (1)

return 42 (459012) | more than 3 years ago | (#36087152)

Earlier today, Apple's VP of software technology, Guy L. 'Bud' Tribble...

Beam him into the Klingons' engine room, Scotty...

Apple AND Google Discuss Privacy Before Congress (5, Insightful)

Cogneato (600584) | more than 3 years ago | (#36087210)

Is there any chance at all that Slashdot might make a tiny amount of effort to report about Apple and Google in the same tone when they are sitting side by side talking about essentially the exact same stuff?

When you present a story like this in such an slanted way, it begins to reek of the technics used by right-wing radio hosts about stuff they consider liberal. There are plenty of legitimate things to criticize Apple for, that you don't have to reconstruct reality to create new ones.

Re:Apple AND Google Discuss Privacy Before Congres (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36087466)

This IS the limited "other side". Slashdot generally bows before the White Plastic Altar (formerly the Brushed Steel Altar, formerly the Bright Fruit-Colored Plastic Altar) of the Almighty Steve in most of their stories. Blow-by-blow reports of ADC? Rumor after rumor after rumor after rumor made front-page news? An excited article on Apple releasing a WHOLE SECOND GODDAMNED COLOR OF IPHONE?? Remind me again where the slanted reporting is.

All Apple needs to do is release a brushed steel iPhone, call it an Anniversary Edition, ignore any and all reception issues derived from a brushed steel case, and Slashdot will forget this entire "blatant privacy violation" thing eeeeeeeeeeever happened, at least as far as Apple is concerned.

Re:Apple AND Google Discuss Privacy Before Congres (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36087920)

Hi Cogneato-
I can tell that you're new here so I just wanted to welcome you to Slashdot. So you're up to speed fuck Oracle, Sony, Apple, Microsoft, SCO. We give Google and Linux handjobs though. Enjoy your stay and remember to wash your hands afterwards.

Re:Apple AND Google Discuss Privacy Before Congres (2)

rsborg (111459) | more than 3 years ago | (#36088062)

Is there any chance at all that Slashdot might make a tiny amount of effort to report about Apple and Google in the same tone when they are sitting side by side talking about essentially the exact same stuff?

Apple sent a VP of software tech and Google sent a lobbyist. If I'm going to listen to a lobbyist, they better be paying me money.

Re:Apple AND Google Discuss Privacy Before Congres (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36088450)

It was because Apple and Google did not act identically. Apple's offense was considerably worse.

Congress== bunch of hypocrites (1)

denis-The-menace (471988) | more than 3 years ago | (#36087284)

Congress: do as we say, not as we do (via FISA, HS, TSA, etc)

And Google! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36088868)

Why is this just about Apple, when both Apple and Google were there? The difference being, Apple sent a VP of software development, and Google sent a lobbyist. Apple has already fixed there mess and never collected the data. Google collects the data and profits from it. I know, I know, this is /. therefore Apple is Evil.

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