Apple is spying on us

Apple admits: iPhone spies even when location is disabled

Google had to put up with some allegations when journalists discovered that Android collects comprehensive position data even when positioning is deactivated. Even when the SIM card was removed, GPS deactivated and WLAN switched off, Google was able to determine the approximate position of the smartphone user through triangulation with radio masts for emergency calls.

At Google, this data ends up in the activity log and is used for advertising purposes. One corporation prides itself on valuing its customers' privacy like no other: Apple. The iPhone manufacturer regularly advertises that it offers higher security and better privacy than Android smartphones.

Apple iPhone is also spying

However, as security researcher Brian Krebs writes in his blog, this is more pretense than reality at Apple. The reaction of the group in this case makes the advertisements appear in a completely different light.

Similar to the Wifi Sense feature of Windows Phone 8.1, the iPhone transmits some data to Apple about Wi-Fi networks and cell towers in the vicinity of the user. This involves position data from WLAN networks and the time spent at the respective location. According to Apple, this data is anonymized and encrypted. The data are used to create a database of WLAN hotspots and cell towers.

The journalist noticed this behavior when he recognized the indicator arrow in the status bar on the iPhone 11 Pro with the latest iOS software. In the meantime, however, all system location services were deactivated.

Apple stated in a statement: "The icon appears for system services that do not have a switch in the settings." There are therefore location services in the iPhone that simply cannot be deactivated. The company said there were no safety concerns in it. That is a wanted behavior. The fact that Apple more or less only informs journalists about this is more or less worrying.

Is the iPhone illegal now?

Some bloggers and YouTubers recently put on the aluminum hat in a similar context to Windows 10. It was about the fact that data protection officers in Germany had warned against Windows 10 because not all tracking can be deactivated. Specifically, it is about telemetry data, without which Windows 10 cannot offer all of its functionality. Almost all modern software uses telemetry; it is just as integrated in Android as it is in iOS. The conclusion of many Microsoft critics: Windows 10 must therefore be illegal.

The scandal here is that on the one hand Apple has chosen itself to be the savior of privacy, on the other hand not only collecting telemetry data, but also location data. These are not absolutely necessary for the smooth functioning of an iPhone. You collect them anyway. You can think what you want about it. In any case, the collection cannot be deactivated.

Source: KrebsOnSecurity