Apple denies it is tracking iPhone users

After officially giving the reports the silent treatment, Apple has finally responded to the claims of the company 'tracking' users of its iPhone and iPad with a Q&A on its website.

Responding to the question of why Apple is tracking users, the company replies: 'Apple is not tracking the location of your iPhone. Apple has never done so and has no plans to ever do so'. So that's you told. So what is it actually doing?

The Q&A claims Apple is 'not logging your location', instead it is maintaining a database of Wi-Fi hotspots and mobile towers, which makes it easy for you to find a signal when you need it. According to Apple, a task that can take minutes is actually taking seconds, thanks to that background data. Any data sent is 'anonymous' and sent in 'encrypted form' to Apple. Which means you can't be identified from it.

However, the discussion has thrown up one problem that Apple has admitted isn't official policy. When 'Location Services' is turned off, the iPhone continues updating Wi-Fi and mobile tower data. That is apparently 'a bug', which Apple plans to fix 'shortly'. That update is coming in the next few weeks and will reduce the size of the data cached on the iPhone and delete the cache entirely when Location Services is turned off.

Happy now? Apple hopes you are. In a week when personal data issues have been frontpage news, Apple really doesn't want to be dragged into the same debate.

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