Apple releases location logging patch

Written by Antony Leather

May 5, 2011 // 1:36 p.m.

Tags: #apple #ios-433 #iphone #location-data #logging

Apple has released a new version of its iOS operating system, which fixes various issues surrounding the logging of location data.

Version 4.3.3 of iOS includes significant changes to Apple's crowd-sourced location database cache, which is used to aid devices such as the iPhone when obtaining a quick position-fix.

A part of the issue was that the cache stored location data for up to a year. However, Apple states that the cache will now be deleted entirely when a device's 'Location Services' option is turned off, providing you're using the new version of the OS.

Apple has also reduced the size of the cache, which logs the location of mobile phone masts and WiFi hotspots in the vicinity of the phone to aid positioning.

As we previously reported, this method has been used on most other GPS-enabled mobile phones for years. However, the data on Apple's devices can be extracted and used to work out the rough location of a phone at specific times.

Despite Apple saying it would take several weeks to address the issue, the company has turned around a patch just seven days after admitting there were issues that needed addressing.

The company has also announced plans to encrypt the location data on its devices. The lack of encryption enabled users to extract location data and display it in position-form on maps, leading to last month's outcry regarding user privacy.

Have you extracted the location data from your iPhone? How often do you use features that employ the GPS features? Let us know in the forums.

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