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Apple CEO Steve Jobs insists that his company's "magical" iPhones and iPads don't track customers -- despite glaring evidence to the contrary. He accused rival Android -- which has recently been beating Apple in market share -- of tracking customers. He offered no evidence to support his claims.
Apple CEO offers no evidence to support his claims

Apple, Inc. (AAPL) CEO Steve Jobs is fond of describing his sleek electronic gadgets-cum-fashion statements as "magical".  This week he tried to work a bit of "magic" on the public in the face of major tracking concerns.

Tracking concerns?  What tracking concerns?

That was basically Mr. Jobs' take in a brief email exchange with a customer.

An iPhone user emailed Mr. Jobs, writing:


Could you please explain the necessity of the passive location-tracking tool embedded in my iPhone? It's kind of unnerving knowing that my exact location is being recorded at all times. Maybe you could shed some light on this for me before I switch to a Droid. They don't track me.

As he occasionally does, the Apple CEO and tech luminary actually appeared to respond in person to the user.  He writes:

Oh yes they do. We don't track anyone. The info circulating around is false.

Sent from my iPhone

The email was published and ostensibly verified by MacRumors, a popular Apple leaks blog.  It seems likely to be authentic, given that it follows Mr. Jobs' email style -- short, to the point, and short on details.

Mr. Jobs' claims that Google Inc.'s (GOOG) Android OS tracks customers seem to have a bit of foundation.  Android maintains a very limited database of users' location.  However, the database appears to turn off if location services are disabled.  It also is regularly wiped.

By contrast Apple maintains a much larger local database that appears never to be wiped.  The easily visualized file shows in vivid detail where users have been.  It collects data hundreds of times a day.  About the only defense Apple can legitimately muster is that it does not regularly collect the file.

Apple had previously claimed that its iOS devices stop following customers if they turn off location services.  But it now appears that they do not -- the database keeps growing regardless of the setting.  That revelation has led to multiple international officials, including [PDF] United States Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.), demanding the company explain itself.

Mr. Jobs has in the past emailed customers about such issues as his company's campaign against pornography and Flash (two of Mr. Jobs' least favorite things).

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By therealnickdanger on 4/25/2011 3:07:08 PM , Rating: 5
Tracking iPhone/Pod/Pad/Book/etc. users is pointless. They all shop at IKEA, eat at Big Bowl, get coffee from Starbucks, drive Volvos, and vote democrat. What else does Apple need to know?


RE: Pointless
By Chapbass on 4/25/2011 3:09:09 PM , Rating: 2
You forgot panera bread.

RE: Pointless
By Goty on 4/25/2011 3:13:13 PM , Rating: 5
Mmmmmm, Panera....

Oh, what? Sorry, got distracted.

RE: Pointless
By therealnickdanger on 4/25/2011 3:45:48 PM , Rating: 5
Bacon Turkey Bravo. 'Nuff said.

RE: Pointless
By Ammohunt on 4/25/2011 3:20:12 PM , Rating: 5
You forgot that they know nothing about technology or Computers in general.

RE: Pointless
By nolisi on 4/25/2011 3:59:02 PM , Rating: 3
Funny, because all the self proclaimed Republicans in my company's executive staff are demanding iPads and iPhones be integrated in our corporate infrastructure. They don't typically drive Volvo's, they're more of the Mercedes/Maserati/Ferrari blend- but they definitely do get their daily Starbucks...

RE: Pointless
By CZroe on 4/25/2011 4:14:38 PM , Rating: 5
*gasp* You mean that stereotypes are usually based on generalized truths that don't necessarily apply to all of a particular group?! *shocked*

RE: Pointless
By XZerg on 4/25/2011 5:10:04 PM , Rating: 4
On contrary - iCrap users are the most lucrative users to track compared to Android or any other phone. Most of them are willing to fork over money without any thoughts in the name of being cool kid on the block or follow their leader - Jobs. Apple would not have built that crazy a$$ data center if it were not as lucrative.

RE: Pointless
By Da W on 4/26/2011 9:47:07 AM , Rating: 3
As a WP7 user i know nobody cares about me. Besides my GPS is so crappy i KNOW microsoft can'T track me.

RE: Pointless
By PrezWeezy on 4/26/2011 2:58:25 PM , Rating: 2
Really? The GPS on my HTC Arrive tends to be within a few feet of me at all times. If I'm in a parking lot it shows me within one car stall of where I am very consistantly.

When I first got the phone it took a while to find me, but now that I've had it for a few weeks it tends to find my exact location within 5-10 seconds. Which is just as good as I've ever seen any other GPS device.

RE: Pointless
By W00dmann on 4/26/2011 3:26:54 PM , Rating: 2
*Best post of the day!*

Thanks for injecting some humor.

RE: Pointless
By hiscross on 4/25/11, Rating: -1
RE: Pointless
By JakLee on 4/25/2011 7:53:02 PM , Rating: 2
Yes, they know your favorite porn sites.

wait, WHAT? I don't even know my favorite one is! There are so many good ones, I mean it could be... oh wait, uh nevermind

RE: Pointless
By marvdmartian on 4/26/11, Rating: 0
RE: Pointless
By lecanard on 4/25/11, Rating: 0
RE: Pointless
By acer905 on 4/25/2011 8:14:31 PM , Rating: 5
the user experience is way better on the iPhone, unless you really need to do the things it can't do.

Ahh, like actually make a phone call? lol

RE: Pointless
By lecanard on 4/26/2011 1:08:03 PM , Rating: 2
I can make calls just fine. And the iPhone is on Verizon now, so even people in NY and SF should be able to make calls.

I meant things like free tethering.

RE: Pointless
By TEAMSWITCHER on 4/26/2011 9:49:32 AM , Rating: 2
I'm pretty sure Rush Limbaugh is a Mac user. But what's wrong with voting for Democrats?

I saw Paul Ryan on tv and he said that President Obama is single handedly destroying our future with defecit spending. But when he was asked about why he voted for multiple "Unfunded" initiatives like two wars, prescription drugs for seniors, and Bush tax-cuts, he just paused for a moment, smiled, and went back talking about our future children. This guy is a two faced snark. I could never vote for someone like that.

RE: Pointless
By Arsynic on 4/26/2011 10:39:52 AM , Rating: 2
Spot on! The only thing I would change is that they drive VW's!

"There's no chance that the iPhone is going to get any significant market share. No chance." -- Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer

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