Apple denies tracking iPhone customers

City A.M. Reporter
Apple has denied it is tracking the movements of its iPhone customers, but said it will provide a software update that stores less location information on phones in response to public outcry over privacy issues.

"Apple is not tracking the location of your iPhone," the company said in a statement. "Apple has never done so and has no plans to ever do so."

Still, the company said its iPhones keep "a database of Wi-Fi hotspots and cell towers around your current locations ... to help your iPhone rapidly and accurately calculate its location when requested."

Some of that location information is stored on each iPhone, and is backed up in iTunes, meaning that it would be possible for someone with access to a person's computer to retrieve information about their movements.

In response, Apple plans to release a software update that would cut the size of the wireless hotspot location database stored on its iPhones, and stop backing up that information. The software will be released in the next few weeks, it said.

Concerns about tracking came to a head earlier this month when two computer programmers presented research showing the iPhone was logging locations.

Privacy advocates have sharply criticized Apple, while the Federal Communications Commission and US Senator Al Franken have asked the company to explain its policy.