Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) issued its iOS 4.3.3 software update, which contains promised changes to the operating system's crowd-sourced location database cache. IOS 4.3.3--available via iTunes, and compatible with the iPhone 3GS and iPhone 4, the third- and fourth-generation iPod touch and the iPad and iPad 2--reduces the size of the location database cache from up to a year to about a week, halts cache backup to iTunes and deletes the cache entirely when users disable their device's Location Services feature.
IOS 4.3.3 follows on the heels of reports that devices running the iOS operating system store user location data in a hidden file--the new update fixes the software bug that Apple blames for cases where iPhones have cached as much as a year of location information. IOS 4.3.3 also arrives days before Apple and archrival Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) will testify at a Senate hearing on the subject of mobile phone privacy and location data collection: Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT) said last week that both Apple and Google will testify May 10 before the Senate Judiciary Committee's privacy subcommittee, headed by Sen. Al Franken (D-MN). Leahy said it is essential to have "complete and accurate information about the privacy implications of these new technologies."
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The furor over location tracking exploded last month after British researchers Alisdair Allan and Pete Warden reported that iPhone and iPod devices had recorded location and time-stamp data since the mid-2010 release of the iOS 4 software update, effectively creating a comprehensive log of all user movement and activities during that time. Apple broke its silence on the matter several days later, explaining that iOS devices are in fact gathering location information to maintain a database of Wi-Fi hotspots and cell towers in the user's vicinity, enabling an iPhone to more rapidly and accurately calculate its location when requested. Apple added that calculating a phone's whereabouts via only GPS satellite data can take up to several minutes, while its approach can slash the process to a few seconds.
"Apple is not tracking the location of your iPhone. Apple has never done so and has no plans to ever do so," the company said in a statement. "Apple is now collecting anonymous traffic data to build a crowd-sourced traffic database with the goal of providing iPhone users an improved traffic service in the next couple of years. Our iAds advertising system can use location as a factor in targeting ads. Location is not shared with any third party or ad unless the user explicitly approves giving the current location to the current ad (for example, to request the ad locate the Target store nearest them)."
The iPhone location data fracas is the subject of a class action suit accusing Apple of invasion of privacy and computer fraud. The suit, filed Apr. 22 on behalf of iOS users Vikram Ajjampur and William Devito in federal court in Tampa, Fla., contends that Apple is secretly recording the movements of iPhone and iPad users and seeks a judge's order barring the practice. "We take issue specifically with the notion that Apple is now basically tracking people everywhere they go," Aaron Mayer, an attorney for the plaintiffs, told Bloomberg. "If you are a federal marshal, you have to have a warrant to do this kind of thing, and Apple is doing it without one."
Ajjampur and Devito are also requesting refunds for their iOS product purchases, contending they would have steered clear of Apple devices had they known about the potential for location data tracking. The lawsuit seeks unspecified punitive damages for alleged negligent misrepresentation. Anywhere from one-third to one-half of the U.S.'s 60 million iPhone users could be part of the class, Mayer added.
Read more: http://tipsforpc.10ra.com/2011/05/05/data-recovery-tips/