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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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It also is regularly wiped.
By Shadowmaster625 on 4/26/2011 8:42:01 AM , Rating: 1
Yeah and if you actually believe that then I have something you can wipe. By the way, only a fool would hold Google in any higher regard than apple. Both these companies would have sold Hitler entire truckloads of Zyklon B in a heart beat.

RE: It also is regularly wiped.
By Solandri on 4/26/2011 11:59:57 AM , Rating: 2
Google is held higher in this regard because they're up front about it. They ask you if it's ok to track your location to augment certain services. You have the option to disagree, and can manually turn it on/off afterward.

Apple OTOH has been telling its users that the iPhone's walled garden is necessary to prevent unscrupulous individuals and organizations from surreptitiously running stuff you don't want on your phone without your consent. For Apple to then be doing exactly that reeks of hypocrisy.

Job's insistence that the iPhone does nothing of the sort just raises more alarms. If Apple isn't behind it, then why the h*ll is the iPhone doing it? Has some rogue developer inside Apple sold access to everyone's iPhones to Russian crime organizations, who are now tracking and selling iPhone users' data?

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