Apple to shortly release iOS 4.3.3; update deals with location tracking bug
With the new update, the software will no longer back up the location database file, consolidated.db to iTunes when an iPhone users syncs his iPhone or iPad 3G. In addition, iOS 4.3.3 will shrink the size of the consolidated.db file and limit the amount of time that the information will be stored. This is in response to a bug that allowed for the storage of up to 1 years worth of Wi-Fi hot spot and cell tower locations although the iPhone manufacturer insists that the file was not sent anywhere. Apple says that no more than 7 days of data is needed for the iPhone. The bug also failed to stop saving location data when the location services button was off. The tech giant said that the next major iOS software update would encrypt the data to prevent third party use of the information.
The location data storage issue has been a hot topic in Washington over the past two weeks. As we reported, Verizon will be putting a removable sticker on all of its new phones warning about the collection of location data and the possibility that it could be used to identify the user of the phone. A scheduled May 10th hearing in the Senate on mobile privacy will include appearances by representatives for both Apple and Google.