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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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RE: Pointless
By lecanard on 4/25/2011 7:36:32 PM , Rating: 0
Uh oh, if I've never been to IKEA, heard of Big Bowl, gotten coffee at Starbucks, driven a Volvo, or voted democrat, will they revoke my iPhone?

You can't apply all the Apple fanboy things to all iPhone users. In the phone space, Apple actually makes the superior product (in the areas I care about). I wouldn't touch a Macbook with a ten-foot pole, but I love IOS. Android still feels clunky and pre-beta. I have a Samsung Android running Froyo and an iPhone 4, and while the Android is more customizable, the user experience is way better on the iPhone, unless you really need to do the things it can't do.

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.

"We shipped it on Saturday. Then on Sunday, we rested." -- Steve Jobs on the iPad launch

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