Andrew Coles
Published by Andrew Coles,

Location services is the news again

This time it is because Apple have tried to rectify the issue of its iDevices storing plotted location data. Have they succeeded, well they have not encrypted the data yet ‘apparently’ this will be left to a forthcoming major update. Although they have lessened the data stored on the iDevice to only a week’s worth of information and removed the location data storage from the iTunes backup entirely.

We will be checking these facts out as soon as possible and reporting back with the results in our blog

iOS 4.3.3 Software Update - What has been changed?

The update has seemly been launched on the back of the recent media discovery that location data was being stored on all iDevices and iTunes backups. The changes to the iOS only contain relevant location database cache features, below are the changes the 4.3.3 update mentions when installing.

This update contains changes to the iOS crowd-sourced location database cache, including:

  • Reduces the size of the cache
  • No longer backs the cache up to iTunes
  • Deletes the cache entirely when Location Services is turned off

Screen-shot of the iOS 4.3.3 information shown during update in iTunes

Is this too little too late?

The major issues faced by Apple over the last couple of weeks were that the majority of the general public were unaware of the tracking and storage of their location data. Users were also concerned that the data being stored was not encrypted at all.

I think we can safely say people know about the issue now, but as the data is still stored and still un-encrypted this update has not resolved the issue fully. Apple have removed the data from the iTunes backups stored on user’s computers, although we have not actually confirmed this to be the case yet.

Lastly the 4.3.3 update will only apply these changes for the current ‘working’ backup. Previously created backups will not be updated nor will the location data be removed, thus meaning that you past movements could still be stored on your computer.

If you have any comments on this subject or would like to add to the debate further, please reply to this blog

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