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back to article Apple: Of course we stalk your EVERY move. iOS 7 has a new map to prove it

The latest beta of Apple's new iOS 7 for iThings features a "Frequent Locations" map, showing where fanbois have been hanging out lately for those too hip to remember the happening joints. The feature is buried deep in the privacy settings, but if one has Location Services enabled it shows a map recording all the places where …

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Excellent .....

An app that lets you know where iTwats hang out ..... should make it easier to avoid then.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Excellent .....

Don't need an app for that.

MCdonalds(working)

Starbucks (working)

Costa (working)

BMW dealership (window shopping)

BMW dealership (dreaming)

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JDX
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Re: Excellent .....

At least the Linuxtards are very easy to avoid, as they generally hang out in their bedrooms.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Excellent .....

"At least the Linuxtards are very easy to avoid, as they generally hang out in their bedrooms."

Unfair, I only hang out in my bedroom because mum needs looking after.

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Def
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Joke

Re: Excellent .....

"I only hang out in my bedroom because mum needs looking after."

Maybe you should put her in the living room then.

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Re: Excellent .....

Now all you need is the chain gun...

That'd be an idea... port Doom 2 to the Oculus... then patch the file to replace all the spineys and so on to people who've added Apple to their likes on Facebook. Fun for all the family. You could even do a version for Eadon - every Hell Prince is a Ballmer-alike. He could die happy.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Excellent .....

Now I can find where all the like minded intelligent and affluent people hang out, by inference this means I will avoid Chav Burberry wearing Fandroid congregations.

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Re: Excellent .....

PC World - So they can brag about how crap the kit is and how they know 10 times more to people who don't know anything about PCs

Currys, TESCO, John Lewis, etc, - see above.

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Windows

Re: Excellent .....

Say what you want. I got an iPhone 5 three weeks ago and I absolutely love the thing.

(Do enjoy your malware, robot people).

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"If"

The key words here are "If you choose to enable Improve Maps....". So it will only happen if you choose agree to participate in the "improvement" programme.

The real problem is that they need to explain what they are doing if you choose to "improve" their maps.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: "If"

Typical Register FUD. It's a locally stored list of frequently visited places, to make it easy to specify places you go to frequently when in the maps app by picking from a frequent places list. Makes things like specifying turn-by-turn navigation routes easier in many instances. And you can turn it off if you want too. So "stalk your every move" means "your phone, not Apple, maintains a record of where you have been if you allow it, and we will take data from that record in an anonymous form, again, if you allow it).

Google Now by contrast, by definition tracks your every location. But then for that matter, cellphone companies always have also tracked your every move (far more comprehensively than the tech companies before Google Now) so actually for years fanboy ire has been somewhat misplaced in any case.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: "If"

Yeah, the slant on this article is so sharp you could slide off of it. It's a shame El Reg have abandoned fair journalism for click baiting. Looks like another tech site bookmark is about to bite the dust.

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I was going to make a joke here about how inaccurate apple maps are but on a more serious not every marketing perp on the planet needs to get it into their thick skull that tracking people like this is creepy and should be illegal. Knowing that I was being served up ads that had been selected for me using this kind of tracking would make me avoid the products they were flogging.

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I had much the same train of thought, initally wondering wjat use it would be to someone to erroneously know I spent most of yesterday 14 miles off shore at 23000 feet. If they want to put a feature like this in, make it opt in \ out at first power on ad in the settings. Give people a choice then it's a moe defensible policy. Tracking be default is freaky.

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Exactly what I needed when I mislaid the car in one of 6 car parks in a tourist town once

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Anonymous Coward

You need a phone to be constantly tracking you for that?

Open Google Maps. Wait a couple of seconds for the gps to lock, press the location indicator on the map, then the current location flag that pops up. Then, press the star at the top right of the screen.

Now, you have a temporary indicator of where your car is. Simply do the same when you've finished, no trace of where you've been.

Tried and tested in a car park in a tourist town.

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Yes but I don't think he realized he was going to mislay the car when he parked it

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Anonymous Coward

Wrong

How can you say "no trace of where you've been" if you are using Google Maps to do the locating in the first place??!

At the minimum, your cell phone provider knows your location as they gave the initial GPS-A lock to your phone.

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Catch 22 - iPhone GPS so useless it only works with wifi augmentation

Those location services can be turned off on Android and you can still use the GPS.

Apparently, if you turn it off on IOS the lights go out on the GPS too !

What crap is that?

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Re: Catch 22 - iPhone GPS so useless it only works with wifi augmentation

*Apparently* you believe everything that you read.

iPhone GPS is perfectly usable, but WiFi detection can improve location accuracy somewhat. Especially if you are in a spot with limited sky (and therefore satellite) coverage.

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Re: Catch 22 - iPhone GPS so useless it only works with wifi augmentation

A little weetodddid today are we?

Might want to actually learn how these things work there bud.

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Stop

Re: Catch 22 - iPhone GPS so useless it only works with wifi augmentation

Time to first fix. If you have an in-car nav system then it can take anything up to a couple of minutes to get its location locked down. The iPhone, like most cell phones, has something called aGPS, which uses cell tower location information as well as WiFi base station data to bring that time down dramatically. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Assisted_GPS

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Stop

Re: Catch 22 - iPhone GPS so useless it only works with wifi augmentation

The crap is the author of this article not making the distinction between:

- location services (which can be turned off globally or by app on iOS)

- the new "help Apple improve maps" setting in iOS 7, only activated if you answer "yes" during iOS 7 setup, and which you can diable in the settings.

All seems very clear and OK with me.

WTF is the fuss in this article and its comments about ???

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Re: Catch 22 - iPhone GPS so useless it only works with wifi augmentation

"iPhone GPS is perfectly usable, but WiFi detection can improve location"

Usable is the word, by limits of use it still comes across as being stupidly crap compared to the rest.

Yeh, wifi and networks help get a fast fix but that is no use if you are out there lost up shit creek without a paddle

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Stop

Re: Catch 22 - iPhone GPS so useless it only works with wifi augmentation

You seem to have confused the GPS receiver with Apple Maps. Maps needs work on the data set. It is however not the only option, Google have a version of their Maps for iOS for example. The GPS is a match for most mobile devices (and turning off WiFi doesn't disable it. Turning off cellular data does, but that's common to many aGPS devices.

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Re: Catch 22 - iPhone GPS so useless it only works with wifi augmentation

"Turning off cellular data does, but that's common to many aGPS devices"

Nope, elsewhere GPS works fine in Airplane mode. I can therefore extend that to 'lost up shitcreek without a paddle nor much battery left'.

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Re: Catch 22 - iPhone GPS so useless it only works with wifi augmentation

Err, if you don't have much battery left, GPS (assisted or not) is not going to be much use as it tends to drain the battery.

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JDX
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So you want a way to share information for cool and "useful" purposes but you don't want anyone to be able to access the shared data?

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Childcatcher

Paying for What You Get

Setting aside the issue of companies disclosing what information they gather and when, I think there is a potential business model that someone ought to pursue: services that are paid for by the customer that do not include anything other than the services themselves - no tracking for marketing, surveillance, resale, or any other purpose.

This model will only work if there are enough customers who care about basic privacy as there are many, many "free" apps that are paid for through the data they harvest. My guess is that this might make it as a niche market, but nothing more. The depressing truth is that most people just don't get why this might be important. Even worse, among those that do understand what is being given away, most still do not care.

Sure, a lot of people are up in arms (at least figuratively) over the NSA data gathering program. But the vast majority of these same folks will click whatever pop-up button appears on the screen when installing a new app on their phones without a thought as to what they are allowing. As the saying goes, "There ain't no such thing as a free lunch." I guess the world is just working out the currency for payment.

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Step one...

Don't get mobile on contract.

Step 2. Buy phone from out of town anonymously or lie.

Step 3. Buy SIM anonymously or lie from out of town.

Step 4. Never leave switched on in a 4+(paranoia dependent) mile radius of home.

Step 5. Buy top-ups with cash.

As one is always tracked by the telco, and this can not be avoided, the data collected this way provides some anonymity. Do you need to be that anonymous? The problem lies with the data getting into the wrong hands, and most hands that aren't your own are the wrong hands.

The tracking Apple proposes is easy to avoid. Switch of the feature and if one can't, get a phone on which one can.

For a (n informed) consumer there is choice. And readers, as many of you are IT professionals, this shouldn't be a problem. It depends on how deeply one feels for the uninformed sheep I suppose....Bear in mind that their consumption, just like mine supports very rich people and keeps wage slaves in work.

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Re: Step one...

"Do you need to be that anonymous?"

That's not the point. The point is that it's none of their (Apple, Google and whoever they sell your data to) business where you've been simply because you've bought their latest fashion accessory.

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Unhappy

@helicoil Re: Step one...

Please don't quote me out of context.

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and the upshot is...

does anyone, I mean anyone, really give a monkeys where I was last week. I don't.

If Apple know, and they don't because the option to turn on is hidden six clicks into menus, what would they do with the info other than surmmise that I spend a lot of time in my own house, and they know where that is anyone because my that is my registered address with both Apple and Vodafone.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: and the upshot is...

I see you've been downvoted twice already for talking common sense. It's probably Bill Ray getting back at you for making his article look stupid.

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Re: and the upshot is...

Not only does nobody give a monkeys where I was last week, even I don't, if I could remember, which I cannot.

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i'm so hip i have difficulty seeing over my pelvis

is apple even hip any more? like, my dad's got one. i haven't. i'm cooler than my dad for all intents and purposes. OR AM I?

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Thumb Up

Re: i'm so hip i have difficulty seeing over my pelvis

Upvoted simply because of the headline. (Can I use it elsewhere?)

Nicely done.

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A waste of data (you're paying for)

I'm not so troubled by the privacy aspects, rather that these bloody companies are using data which has been transmitted from our handsets (presumably) at cost to us and probably also affecting general performance.

I've had incidents with T Mobile where amounts were deducted from my balance and I received no believable explanation beyond that data was used -- without any intervention by or any obvious benefit to me. So what was transmitting data from my handset without my knowledge and why ?

Anyway I agitated and got most of the money back, but it makes you think.

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Important feature this - you can tell which places to avoid because they're becoming too mainstream.

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Anonymous Coward

Um, plausable deniability?

If I were a ner-do-well. I would certainly be leaving my iGadget tracking on at all times! On the surface, my life is pretty boring. Very mundane in fact. You wouldn't even notice me in the background of beige my life is!

Should I ever get busted with questions about where I was on a specific evening. Well, Officer, I was at home at that time, watching Netflix on my phone, check the records if you don't believe me.....

Or at least the boring, plain beige me was.....

Anything else, a case of simply mistaken identity.

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Facepalm

Where are we going eh?

We used to have such a healthy respect for historic data, we have vast libraries full of the knowledge of people like Plato, Shakespeare, etc.

Another 50 years and we'll have storage centres with billions upon billions of Ker-Jigabytes(tm) of absolutely useless shite data that's of no use to anyone except people in advertising! You'll have "big data" warehouses with reams of stats on the minute movements of every mobile phone buying person on the planet, covering years and years of their lives. I just wish I could see what historians in 4000 years will say about the human race in the 21st Century. Something along the lines of, "They held a false belief that collection of data would somehow empower them, all it did in the end was to make electronic and data storage device manufacturers of the day stunningly wealthy, provide jobs for information technology workers of the day but little else."

Of course there is the aspect that this tracking shite is the wet-dream of every secret service dept on the planet!

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Happy

Re: Where are we going eh?

Of course there is the aspect that this tracking shite is the wet-dream of every secret service dept on the planet!

Close, but I suspect the more than a few in the intelligence community have read "The Light Of Other Days"

by Arthur C. Clarke and Stephen Baxter. Instantaneous (and undetectable) real time audio/video access to any place and time via micro-wormholes. Maybe in 4000yrs equipped with this tech, the historians will look back at us and our tracking schemes, and be mildly amused at all the effort and expenditure involved.

I'm pretty sure I enjoyed the book (probably data on that somewhere).

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I'm pretty sure I enjoyed the book (probably data on that somewhere)

Shit, there is now.

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