Steve Jobs says Apple devices do not track a person's location, but Android phones do

Steve Jobs says Apple devices do not track a person's location, but Android phones do
Playing that old schoolhouse game, "I'm rubber, you're glue. Anything you say bounces off me and sticks to you," Apple CEO Steve Jobs said that all of those fears about iOS devices tracking you and secretly keeping tabs of your location are not true. He went on to say that those fears should be directed at Android phones.

In a email sent by a MacRumors reader, Jobs was asked, "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." "Oh yes they do." Jobs replied. "We don’t track anyone. The info circulating around is false."

While Jobs statement doesn't seem to account for some location-based data that is saved on the iPhone and 3G versions of the iPad, that data is not 100% precise. On the other hand, Android is said by analyst Samy Kamkar to transmit expected location data, a hardware identifier and the location of nearby Wi-Fi hot spots. While Google has rejected this claim, and said, "Any location data that is sent back to Google location servers is anonymized and is not tied or traceable to a specific user," the Mountain View based company said that in theory, it is possible for a third party to grab the data and use it to identify a specific person.

We're pretty sure that we haven't heard the end of this story. There could be some more back and forth bickering and finger pointing before this all fades away.

source: electronista

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83 Comments

1. msa1988

Posts: 418; Member since: Mar 30, 2010

Piece of crap. Take responsability for your actions and errors!

18. JeffdaBeat unregistered

...I agree... Here's the thing...from everything I've read, the iPhone doesn't track you and send it out for the world to see...but it still tracks you. Steve Jobs he needs to stop being the bad PR for his company. Some of his comments, although rude, are dead on (closed nature of the iPhone, App Store, Flash) he has been dead wrong with this response as well as with the antenna. At least have some empathy or don't say anything at all. And more importantly, stop pointing the finger to Google. We all know Google tracks us, but at least they don't hide it. When has it been good practice to avoid your problem by pointing the finger at someone else? Sales 101...don't diss your competitor. If you have the stronger service and the better phone, then correct this problem and move on. Don't drag Google into this like you did with the antenna problem... Okay...I'm done...hopefully I never have to say this about Apple or Steve Jobs again...

44. JP unregistered

It doesn't need to fade away. Any way of tracking anyone on there cell phone needs to fade away. Someone needs to take care of the problem for good so people do not have to worry about it. There should not even be a discussion of this happening on any phone.

24. Droid_X_Doug

Posts: 5993; Member since: Dec 22, 2010

Well, now there is a lawsuit for Apple to contend with (http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-04-25/apple-sued-over-user-location-data-storage-on-iphones-ipads .html ). I wonder how Steve will handle the inevitable deposition(s)? The smart thing for Apple to do would be to make the location tracking able to be opted-out by the user. Will Apple implement true user-controlled opting out? I personally doubt it. At least not until they lose a few rounds on the litigation front and they are staring at a possible order to cease or stop selling iOS devices - now that would get their attention....

26. JeffdaBeat unregistered

If the location tracking isn't being used by Apple and simply being stored on a computer, chances are they will turn it off completely so it's not stored. As for the lawsuit, they'll probably settle out of court...

40. cheetah2k

Posts: 2271; Member since: Jan 16, 2011

How do you know that Apple isnt using the tracking data? I bet every mand and their dog including Big Brother USA feds will be using it. Sure Apple can simply turn it off, but the fcuked up thing here is that Apple has to turn it off - we don't get a choice!!

83. Xpple unregistered

cheetah2k is right. government law enforcement has been using this information for some time now. On an Android device you can 1. opt out 2. delete or clear the data whenever you wish. If you are going to collect such data then you need an easy way for the user to control it and erase it when desired. Why would any company record such data unless they needed it for something?

39. cheetah2k

Posts: 2271; Member since: Jan 16, 2011

I can't believe what he just said.. Clearly Jobs has lost the plot.

43. messiah

Posts: 438; Member since: Feb 19, 2010

Is Jobs saying Android can do something apple can't? Please... damn the iPhone4 even tracks Jobs' chemo sessions

2. remixfa

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 2008

so.. Mr. Jobs.. what exactly does that file that.. you know.. keeps a record of EVERY place you've been,every time, when you were there, and more track? It must be tracking all the near by blackberrys right? lol Only an ibot idiot would take this statement as a truth. Both apple and google track info. The difference is Google gives you a way to opt out of it, only keeps each location 1 time, only the last few locations are kept in total, and it assigns annonymous numbers to the info so it cant be traced back to you.

3. msa1988

Posts: 418; Member since: Mar 30, 2010

With google you can turn it off. Then there is no way they can track you.

48. Fanboys Suck

Posts: 609; Member since: Dec 12, 2008

No way?.... Doubt that.

4. justapasserby unregistered

i love this guy!!! when iphone 4 first launched, iphone cannot get connected to internet, he blame too much ppl connected to Wi-Fi... iphone 4 got antenna prb, he will come out say other phone got antenna too.....caused antenna-gate... iphone track user's location, he comes out again blaming android...

5. queen unregistered

We all know he is outright lying, since the iPhone offers GPS capabilities, it most certainly does track users and their location info. It would not work otherwise. He really needs to stop acting like a child who gets caught doing something they shouldn't. People would like him more if he wasn't so pious and so arrogant. Your product is not perfect Steve, last time I checked, no one's is. Of course Google tracks the same information, but that data is encrypted, and they actually take the polite route and inform their users of this practice. Just slap a disclaimer on there and move on.

6. Brad unregistered

OMG. He is brain washing all the iSheet again. Oh...ok. So, Steve, i'm not being tracked? OK, if you say so. I feel better now. Thanks. All that news wa beginning to worry me. Wphew! Good thing you were able to verify that just by emailing it to us. Those silly tech people out ther don't know!!! They are just jealous of us iSheep. All HAIL STEVE! ALL HAIL STEVE! Long live the King!

7. Bulletshifttsi

Posts: 11; Member since: Apr 22, 2011

There is so much proof to prove that Apple is Tracking your every move. There is even a article on this site talking about it with pictures to boot. I agree with everyone above me in saying that Steve Jobs is crazy / acting immature. Just admit to it and explain your self. Or don't do devious things and then you won't have to explain your self. Apple makes so much money its a redic. They should focus on good products that can keep up with the upcoming android, blackberry, and windows devices. How come this isn't illegal to keep track of our locations with out our awareness? Isn't that infringement of our freedoms? Someone please explain to me hows this is not.

8. protozeloz

Posts: 5396; Member since: Sep 16, 2010

wow jobs seriously.... just telling everyone you do will be much better, why go to a company we already knew they did? why not say.... ''we had some neat plans on this and made a small mistake, we had plans on tracking how places around you evolved foe your convinicence'' why go and hit the android OS? some of of have respect for you don't turn us down

9. Sniggly

Posts: 7305; Member since: Dec 05, 2009

Holy fucking shit, Jobs, are you serious? Then why on CNN do they have an explanation from your company that the data collected gets sent off to you every twelve hours to "improve your location services?" Good God, man. This is worse than your response to Applegate. To Gemini, Taco and the rest, I'm sorry. I truly am. I would have gained respect for Jobs if he at least had acknowledged the problem and said a solution was in the works. But this is antennagate all over again. The man is literally unable to take responsibility for his actions and spits out half truths to throw a smokescreen over his lies. This has nothing to do with the quality of the phone (it's a nice phone) nor its software (nice software) but everything to do with Jobs and Apple's business practices.

14. Droid_X_Doug

Posts: 5993; Member since: Dec 22, 2010

Maybe he is exhibiting a side-effect of his meds? Delusional behavior is a side-effect of many meds.... Just sayin. :-)

20. SuperAndroidEvo

Posts: 4888; Member since: Apr 15, 2011

I am just so blown away by how Mr. Jobs just thinks he is on another world. There are news sources who covered this, websites and so on. The arrogance is so in your face that I kinda feel bad & sorry for all Apple customers who Mr. Jobs is blatantly not stating the truth to. All OS's track their customers BUT, Google is upfront. The ask you if that is something you would like or would not like. Apple does no such thing. I know cause my wife has, sorry had an iPhone 4. She has an Epic 4G & is patiently waiting for the Epic 2, aka Galaxy S II. She now enjoys the different abilities of the Android OS. She says that the iOS is boring & that you can do so much stuff with Android. The first thing she noticed was how Google asks if you would like to be tracked. She said that Apple never asked such a thing. So you see people are all not stupid Mr. Jobs, people are starting to see through your misleading information & are discovering Android OS! Keep on lying to your customers, it’s a great way to retain them! lol

23. SuperAndroidEvo

Posts: 4888; Member since: Apr 15, 2011

Doesn't Steve Jobs look like Tom Hanks in the movie Philadelphia................ lol Dude the man looks horrible! You are rich take care of yourself! :-)

50. sscorp99

Posts: 40; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

Why isn't this guy dead, he looks dead, someone put him in a coffin!

25. Droid_X_Doug

Posts: 5993; Member since: Dec 22, 2010

Um, slight correction - Steve knows he is on another world. Meds have a way of making delusions into truth. Just sayin. :-)

10. eren unregistered

he surely act like a child...i love this statement: "We don’t track anyone. The info circulating around is false."...so i guess there is some Google Spy-App running unnoticed on iPhone and it is tracking and saving location to giant log so everyone could blame Apple....Go Go Jobs...Go and take responsibility...

11. Darth8ball unregistered

Steve Jobs going down the toilet fast....but not fast enough for me. LOL I'm loving watching this guy self destruct.

12. bill hicks unregistered

"Go back to your Macintosh, monkey boy!"

13. LXH unregistered

haha Jobs epic fail !

15. Matt unregistered

Wow, lots of people can't read. _iPhone+ may cache location data but this is not transmitted to _Apple_. The only time they receive location data is when there is a call failure. Not a bad use of it. But Android phones also store location data (admittedly not as much) but they also transmit "anonymised" data back to Google. Now this data may be anonymised but it contains MAC addresses which are unique in the world and obviously traceable (even by a simple query you can find the MAC address of any WiFi device). While he's being a poor communicator, Jobs is being honest here. While too much data is being cached, Apple are not tracking you. Both companies are doing wrong. One due to not clearing down caches but not collecting data, the other for collecting "anonymised but uniquely identifiable" data.

16. celljrod

Posts: 82; Member since: Apr 07, 2011

Big key here........Google let's you know they do it and gives the option to opt out

19. JeffdaBeat unregistered

Dude, I love Apple as much as the next guy...but his response is crap. You're right, it's not sending the information off to other companies, but I'm tired of this not caring/blame it on someone else attitude...

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