Tracking location on smartphones remains a lukewarm controversy these days. From time to time, a new story will pop up detailing how a popular app keeps an eye on its users closer than initially thought. And then, like clockwork, the application developers will apologize and promise to solve the problem with an update of the application to come.
Apple itself, of course, is no stranger to localization controversies. Just a few weeks ago, for example, Apple was involved in a mini-controversy when it was discovered that certain iPhone 11 models were constantly tracking users’ locations, even when users proactively disabled tracking. location.
The report quickly exploded before Apple explained that the new iPhone 11 models include ultra-broadband technology that “is subject to international regulatory requirements that require it to be turned off in certain places”.
As a result, Apple noted that iOS would ping a user’s location to “determine if an iPhone is in these prohibited locations in order to disable ultra broadband and comply with regulations.”
User privacy, however, remains a key aspect of Apple’s business model. In turn, iOS 13 will periodically remind users when an app is still tracking their location, even in cases where users have explicitly granted permission to that app.
For exemple, Wall Street newspaper recently shared an iOS 13 screenshot informing a user that “Facebook has used your location 107 times in the background in the past 3 days. Do you want to continue to allow use of the background location? “
While some may find periodic reminders boring, it highlights Apple’s unwavering commitment to protecting user privacy. Of course, the challenge is to protect the privacy of users without making users worse. It is something of a delicate balance to strike.
Addressing this issue, Apple has released the following statement to Newspaper:
Apple has not built a business model to find out the location of a customer or the location of their device.
While cynics may scoff, the reality is that Apple’s business model has nothing to do with where iPhone users go, what they’re looking for, or what they’re doing on their phones.