Users of Apple’s iPhone and 3G iPad devices consented to having their location tracked by the device for close to a year, it emerged today.
As reported earlier, iPhones and iPads running iOS4 or higher store a plain text, unencrypted log of the coordinates of the user.
While this might come as a shock to some users, a greater shock is that users agreed to it in the first place.
Apple’s iPhone Terms of Service include the following statement:
“Apple and its partners and licensors may provide certain features or services through the Service that rely upon device-based location information. To provide such features or services, where available, Apple and its partners and licensors may collect, use, transmit, process and maintain your location data, including the real-time geographic location of your device, and you hereby agree and consent to Apple's and its partners' and licensors' collection, use, transmission, processing and maintenance of such location data to provide such services. In addition, by enabling and/or using any location-based services or features within the Service (e.g. Find My iPhone), you agree and consent to Apple collecting, using, processing and maintaining information related to your account, and any devices registered thereunder, for purposes of providing such location-based service or feature to you. Such information may include, but is not limited to, your account name, device ID and name, device type and real-time geographic location of your device at time of your request.”
Further into the Apple iPhone Terms of Service, instructions on how to disable this function are also available in the terms:
iTnews contacted Apple to comment on this issue but have not received a response.