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back to article Apple tweaks privacy policy to juice location tracking

Apple has updated its privacy policy to allow the company, its partners, and its licensees to keep close watch on your "precise location data." These new observational powers are detailed in both Cupertino's overall Privacy Policy and the Terms and Conditions to which you must agree before purchasing or downloading items from …

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Silver badge
WTF?

Unbelievable

Who would ever be happy to be tracked night and day by a corportion and by who ever pays them for access to the same data? Glad I've not got one. Some people have got private business to attend to.

I'm trying to judge where this comes on the Phorm scale of intrusions in to personal life. 8 / 10?

The only way this works for an advertising scheme is to dish up an ad for Burger King when you're stood outside a MacDonalds, and other such things. No one would be crazy enough to pay for a location based ad that said 'Try Burger King' when the punter is stood outside a bloody Burger King; that's what the sign over the door is for. But this means that companies are going to have to buy their 'location' for themselves so that competitors don't get hold of it first. It's another protection racket like Google's Adwords, and sharp practise of the worst sort verging on monopolised corporate blackmail.

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Jobs Horns

Step away from the coffee machine

"Who would ever be happy to be tracked night and day by a corportion and by who ever pays them for access to the same data?"

Probably lots of people, depending on what they get in exchange. And of course those that want no part in it don't have to play.

"I'm trying to judge where this comes on the Phorm scale of intrusions in to personal life. 8 / 10?"

Nowhere near since all apps that collect location data have to ask you, and you can turn it off.

Hope that's cleared it up for you, and you can take your tin foil hat off.

"sharp practise of the worst sort verging on monopolised corporate blackmail."

Well maybe not. Please continue drooling. But remember, it's only a matter of time before Steve Jobs gets around to harvesting your personal liver.

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Black Helicopters

Thanks

But no thanks -- not for me.

<taps [Turn Off] button>

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Grenade

Bloody fanboys

The worst thing about this is all the stupid fanboy sites celebrating this.

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Thumb Up

@AC

Yeah, all those Droid-heads celebrating the fact their phones don't collect this information is really annoying, isn't it?!

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But are the iAds part of the App?

So with location services, I can control which Apps have access to my location. But the language of the EULA seems to let Apple know my device location at any moment--though the disabling of the Find Me feature seems to disprove that. So could Apple still serve me location-targetted ads in whatever apps I have, since the app makers just get the ad framework from Apple now?

Or does shutting off location data actually shut down the GPS and save power?

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Fix

Couldn't see it in the article, so to opt out visit:

https://oo.apple.com/

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Silver badge
Troll

Well I don't have to worry,

and neither does anyone else who doesn't go down on Stevie.

News Flash:

Consumer device brings lock in and bend over and take it policy to the consumer.

What! You were not expecting this?

roflmfao

That's the whole point of proprietary technology sheeple.

If I wanted to be someones bitch, I would buy an iPhone.

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Article is misleading!

This article is misleading and disingenuous. Firstly, the language in the "Location-Based Services" section makes it explicit and clear that the information is shared "to provide and improve location-based products and services"--in other words, if you use say, Google Maps and want to find something close to your location, then your device obviously needs to send the geo-location information to Google.

This follows Apple's contention (and behaviour so far) that personal and identifying information may only be used for the purpose of providing a service relevant to an App's functionality and not to track users for advertising or any other purposes.

Secondly, the article claims that "nowhere does it mention exactly how it defines 'anonymous'," which is not true. The Privacy Policy explains in simple language what is and is not considered "Personal Information," and then the "Location-Based Services" section states: "This location data is collected anonymously in a form that does not personally identify you"--in other words: the information collected does not fall within their previously defined "Personal Information" category.

Apple does not need to define what "anonymous" is, since the context makes it clear that it means "in a non-identifying manner," which is the common definition of the term.

The intention of the change is to allow Apple to explicitly exclude sharing of geo-location information that is not directly related to providing location-based services, e.g. to prevent third-party ad brokers from harvesting users' location information wholesale without consent.

Of course, a short article with the single sentence "Apple updates Privacy Policy to allow Location-Based Services to work correctly by sharing your location" would not bring as many page views.

-dZ.

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Silver badge

ads

"to prevent third-party ad brokers from harvesting users' location information wholesale without consent."

Yes, only Apples first-party iad broker will be allowed to do that!

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@DZ-Jay

*You* are misleading and disingenuous. You still haven't revealed your affiliation with apple.

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FAIL

Oh FFS

Of course, anyone who disagrees with a drooling retard is a corporate shill. Right. This is becoming akin to it's own version of Godwin's Law among the less well balanced of El Reg's commentards. I shall dub it "The tinfoil asshat principle", being that as soon as anyone rebuts some tin foil hatter's ignorant misconception the probability that they will be accused of being a corporate shill becomes precisely 1.

The cognitive process behind these accusations can best be described thus : "I am so fucking powerfully right that some one is actually paying you to disagree with me."

How likely is that, really ?

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FAIL

Read again

And it will still need your consent.

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Anonymous Coward

@Tom 35

And you can opt out of that even. The link is in an earlier post on this forum.

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Re: ads

"Yes, only Apples first-party iad broker will be allowed to do that!"

Rather Apple than Google though, eh.

You know that ad broker that has known everything about your online life since 1996 and counting. Including the geo-location and MAC address of your home wifi router.

At least Apple have said they will only collect this info anonymously, whether Apple hold to that only time will tell.

Don't think Google have made such promises. Google finds privacy an upsetting concept.

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Anonymous Coward

Wtf?

I don't have any any affiliation with Apple, at all. It's a bit paranoid of you to assume that just because I disagree with you I must have something to hide.

Great counter-argument, by the way! Let me try that, "no, *you* are misleading, take that! And my dad can beat up your dad!"

It is my opinion that it is currently fashionable to bash Apple, and that people are frothing at the mouth for the first opportunity to find something wrong in everything they do, irrational as it may be.

If they do not include a feature, they are evil because they want to control what you do. When they finally implement such feature, well they are more evil because they want to force you to do it in a specific way.

I know it is a little hard to swallow, a company that puts the paying end-user experience first, ahead of developers, vendors, and advertisers--unheard of!

But of course, it cannot be as simple as that: selling a product that people actually enjoy to use, that can *never* work. Yet here we are.

The fact is that Apple's products are successful *BECAUSE* of the control they exert on their platform, not *in spite* of it. The market has proven that the vast majority (and it is vast) of people prefer such curation and control, and this is understandably hard to comprehend for many.

-dZ.

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Re: ads

Except that their policy says they will not. That's less evil than Google, which reserves the right to use everything.

-dZ.

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Re: Wtf?

I didn't mean to post as AC, I don't know what happened there. Anyway, that post was from me.

-dZ.

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@DZ-Jay

I'll agree that my prior post was in bad taste. However you had been avoiding the question, and it was a fair question. Having an affiliation to, or investment in apple, are the only reasons I can come up with that someone would unilaterally defend all of apple's evils despite undeniably uncompetitive actions. Some people don't care that apple's garden blocks out outside innovation, good for them, I honestly don't object to people who have that opinion. However the moment somebody (like yourself) claims that apple's restrictions are designed for the benefit of anyone other than apple, well they deserve the criticism for either being a troll, a possible apple affiliate, or just stupid. Take your pick.

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@Lou Gosselin

I never avoided the question, I have said it before: I am not affiliated with Apple. I do own a Macintosh computer, though that was after decades of using Windows and Linux, and I personally find it better--but that's a personal opinion, which I do not expect to share with everybody.

I am not defending Apple as much as I am disagreeing with the irrational bashing against *anything* they do.

Let's turn that argument on its head and see how it sounds: Mr. Gosselin, I cannot imagine why anybody would complain about absolutely everything Apple does and decry it as evil, unless they are a possibly a Google affiliate, a troll, or just stupid.

I do not think you are either of those three; why must I be categorised as such for the simple reason of disagreeing with you?

Like I said, I do not necessarily defend Apple's actions, I merely try to correct what I believe are misrepresentation and accusations which seem on the surface based on some strange and irrational prejudice. If you do not like Apple's products, don't buy them--nobody is forcing you. I like them, and so do many other people, apparently. Can we both live in peace?

Why must it be a zero-sum game in which you either hate Apple or are an idiot? What kind of mature argument is that?

-dZ.

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@DZ-Jay

"I never avoided the question.."

Actually you did whenever I asked, repeatedly.

"I am not defending Apple as much as I am disagreeing with the irrational bashing against *anything* they do."

Read over your posts, you are defending apple from very rational criticisms.

"Let's turn that argument on its head and see how it sounds: Mr. Gosselin, I cannot imagine why anybody would complain about absolutely everything Apple does and decry it as evil, unless they are a possibly a Google affiliate, a troll, or just stupid."

Google affiliate? Ha. I'll criticize both apple and google when they deserve it. Since you brought it up though, google and even microsoft are less restrictive than apple.

Some users don't care about apple's level of control, which is fine if it suits them. But every last person on earth who is aware of the situation should at least recognize that apple's totalitarian control is both anti-competitive and harmful developers and users who would have benefited from an open market.

One cannot logically deny this, and yet you have been. You don't want to admit that apple is using anti-competitive means to achieve its growth, but it is true.

"Why must it be a zero-sum game in which you either hate Apple or are an idiot?"

It's not about hating apple, it's about hating restrictions imposed by apple...big difference. I never said I don't like apple's mobile products, but to buy into a closed ecosystem which removes my freedoms as a user and developer is intolerable.

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@Lou Gosselin

>> "I never said I don't like apple's mobile products, but to buy into a closed ecosystem which removes my freedoms as a user and developer is intolerable."

Intolerable to you--which apparently is a sentiment not shared with a vast amount of consumers. But of course, they must be stupid because for not caring about some supposed level of control that they don't feel is necessary.

-dZ.

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@DZ-Jay

"Intolerable to you--which apparently is a sentiment not shared with a vast amount of consumers."

I'm sure there are plenty of customers who are annoyed with apple's closed garden. Some purchased their device with the intent of jailbreaking, even though it voided their warranty and support. Others didn't realize that they were buying into a closed garden when they purchased it. Still others wanted an iphone, but are still irked by the closed garden.

I think the "pro apple, anti-closed" camp is much larger than you think it is. Or do you believe that those two things are mutually exclusive, and all pro-apple users favor the closed garden?

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@Lou Gosselin

>> "I think the "pro apple, anti-closed" camp is much larger than you think it is."

I believe it is a mere statistical anomaly within the vast amount of consumers who purchase Apple products. As with many other things in the past, the Internet is uncanny in its ability to echo the voices of a very small minority in a disproportional way.

>> "Or do you believe that those two things are mutually exclusive, and all pro-apple users favor the closed garden?"

Unlike others, I tend to not categorise people in generalized stereotypes. So, I do believe that unhappy consumers exist, but I firmly believe that you over-estimate their numbers. Going by the noise in the Internet, this is understandable. Moreover, bashing Apple has become the sport de rigueur.

That said, your comments (and those of others in this forum) tend to imply that the vast majority of Apple purchasing consumers who are happy with their products either do not exist, or are just stupid. And I disagree with this false dichotomy.

-dZ.

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@DZ-Jay

And I'm sure apple users love having you to represent them, fighting to suppress customer choice and freedom around the world...yeah right.

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@Lou Gosselin

Another hallmark of wit and eloquence; you have shattered my argument to pieces with your pointed retort.

-dZ.

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Grenade

I wonder

If the FBI NSA etc are "partners"

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Anonymous Coward

DeFex

Yes, but silent ones.

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This post has been deleted by its author

FAIL

It stops

When you turn it off, or don't join in in the first place. It's fairly simple really. But don't let that stop from you from constructing a complex multi layered conspiracy theory, it will give you something to talk about when you next see your psychiatrist. I

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Phorm Apple Pie

How many of the fanbois would have signed up for the anti Phorm submission to the (last) government but are now heralding the IEquivalent as a great advance.

As I see it to "provide and improve location-based products and services" needs as a minimum two bits of information the location and identity of the phone. Both are personal information so there will be no "anonymous" element to that data.

Further who is deciding what constitutes "improvement" - bet it's about serving more content to a device based on Apple's (and their partners, friends and associates) concept of what you need to be told.

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Jobs Halo

Re: Phorm Apple Pie

Wrong: to provide location based services the minimum you need is the current location, not the device information. The identity of the phone is not needed.

According to the privacy policy, once you tie the geo-location innformation to other personally identifying details, the entire thing becomes "Personal Information" which does not qualify to be shared.

-dZ.

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FAIL

Oh happy day, another Apple stroy brings out the drooling asshats

"How many of the fanbois would have signed up for the anti Phorm submission to the (last) government but are now heralding the IEquivalent as a great advance."

I suspect that's an empty set, largely because the two items are entirely dissimilar.

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Re: Phorm Apple Pie

If a server is to serve up location based services it needs to know the location but how can it serve those services to the phone without knowing the phones ID?

If I ask the BBC News page to serve me the article on Phorm the BBC server becomes aware of my IP - whats the difference?

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Thumb Up

Possibly not bad.

This could be a good thing. All Apple need to do is provide a log, so you can see precisely what information was sent to whom, and when. There really is nothing wrong with what Apple are doing here, *as long as the process is open to, auditable by and controllable by the rightful owner of that information, namely the owner of the phone.*

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Anonymous Coward

RE: Possibly not bad

Yes, they will do that, I'm sure of it, they do afterall, care about your privacy.

NOT!

ITCHY CHIN!

AS IF!

YEAH RIGHT!

PFFFFT!

HAHAHAHA

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Bronze badge
Grenade

Apple, another abusive big corporation for the trash heap...

I stopped using Microsoft's OS when I found out it had build in user data collection and MS admited to doing it after it was discovered. I avoid Google like the plague because of it's user tracking and all their shenanigans collecting wifi mac address plus passwords and such. As authorities around the world continue their abusive behaviors toward the populations everywhere this tracking tech in products shouldn't be tolerated.

I hope every shipment of these phones from China sinks in the ocean.

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FAIL

No seriously, switch to decaf

"As authorities around the world continue their abusive behaviors toward the populations everywhere this tracking tech in products shouldn't be tolerated."

RIGHT ON BRO! Those fucking authorities, I mean where do they get off, I asked them where my nearest branch of PC World and THEY ASKED ME WHERE I WAS! Fucking abusers !

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WTF?

Disabling location?

Nowhere does it say that disabling location tracking will stop Apple finding out where you are. Since there is both GPS and AGPS systems available now; (satellites and via towers; and disabling towers would disable the phone); and that you've legally agreed to Apple and their friends having constant access to your location; who's to say that disabling this option for Apple applications or for the system will disable Apple having your location?

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