Apple Updates Privacy Policy to Disclose Real-Time Location Tracking of Devices

225450 core location map

Earlier today, we noted that Apple had updated its iTunes Store terms to include information on the company's forthcoming iAd mobile advertising platform and steps users could take to opt out of the collection and sharing of personal data for the purposes of serving targeted and more relevant ads.

The Los Angeles Times points to a somewhat-related change in Apple's privacy policy included in the revised iTunes Store terms which specifies that Apple may collect "precise," "real-time geographic location" data for users of its products. Under the updated privacy policy, the data may be used by Apple and unspecified "partners and licensees" in order to improve services and advertising.

The company says the data is anonymous and does not personally identify users. Analysts have shown, however, that large, specific data sets can be used to identify people based on behavior patterns.

The report notes that the new privacy policy does not specify which third parties may receive access to the collected data, nor does it mention how long Apple may keep the data. The report also quotes the relevant passage of the updated terms:

To provide location-based services on Apple products, Apple and our partners and licensees may collect, use, and share precise location data, including the real-time geographic location of your Apple computer or device. This location data is collected anonymously in a form that does not personally identify you and is used by Apple and our partners and licensees to provide and improve location-based products and services. For example, we may share geographic location with application providers when you opt in to their location services.

Some location-based services offered by Apple, such as the MobileMe "Find My iPhone" feature, require your personal information for the feature to work.

The specific change to Apple's policy regarding location-based services and data collection is part of a much broader overhaul of the company's privacy policy involving a restructuring of the document while expanding certain areas and simplifying others. The changes appear to represent the first significant change to the company's privacy in three years, and with location-services and other mobile technologies having seen tremendous advancement during that time, Apple has had to update its documentation to reflect the new reality.

Popular Stories

iPhone 16 Pro Max Generic Feature 2

5 Biggest Changes Rumored for iPhone 16 Pro Max

Tuesday May 21, 2024 7:29 am PDT by
Given Apple's rumored plan to add an all-new high-end tier to its iPhone 17 series in 2025, this could be the year for Apple to bring its boldest "Pro Max" model to the table — the kind of iPhone 16 upgrade that stands tall above its siblings, both figuratively and literally. If you have been holding out for the iPhone 16 Pro Max, here are five of the biggest changes rumored to be coming...
iOS 17

Apple Releases iOS 17.5.1 With Fix for Reappearing Photos Bug

Monday May 20, 2024 10:11 am PDT by
Apple today released iOS 17.5.1 and iPadOS 17.5.1, minor updates to the iOS 17 and iPadOS 17 operating system updates that came out last September. The 17.5.1 updates come a week after the launch of iOS 17.5 and iPadOS 17.5. iOS 17.5.1 and iPadOS 17.5.1 can be downloaded on eligible iPhones and iPads over-the-air by going to Settings > General > Software Update. According to Apple's...
maxresdefault

iPhone SE 4 With Face ID Said to Be Priced Below $500

Monday May 20, 2024 3:43 am PDT by
Apple is targeting a sub-$500 starting price for its upcoming fourth-generation iPhone SE model despite a raft of rumored upgrades coming to the more affordable device. According to leaker Revegnus on X, the U.S. launch price of the fourth-generation iPhone SE will either remain at the same $429 starting price as the current model, or will see an increase of around 10%. Either way, Apple's...
microsoft surface pro qualcomm

Microsoft Says New Surface Pro is Faster Than 15" M3 MacBook Air

Monday May 20, 2024 3:19 pm PDT by
Microsoft is going all in on AI, today introducing a series of Copilot+ PCs that have AI-focused hardware. The new Surface Pro is one of the first Copilot+ PCs, equipped with Qualcomm's Arm-based Snapdragon X Elite processor. Microsoft is already pitting the Surface Pro against Apple's M3 MacBook Air, and in marketing materials, claims that the Surface Pro has superior processing power and...
iPhone 15 Pro Cameras

iPhone 16 Pro Max to Feature New 48MP Wide and Ultra Wide Cameras

Tuesday May 21, 2024 3:36 am PDT by
Apple's iPhone 16 Pro Max will boast a bigger main camera sensor while both iPhone 16 Pro models will feature a 48-megapixel Ultra Wide camera for the first time, claims a rumor coming out of Asia. According to Weibo user OvO Baby Sauce OvO, the main camera of the iPhone 16 Pro Max will be based on an advanced custom 48-megapixel Sony IMX903 sensor. In contrast, the iPhone 16 Pro will use...

Top Rated Comments

immunezone Avatar
182 months ago
That's it! That is where I have to draw a line and say NO!

What is the world is going on? Is nothing personal anymore? What happened to privacy?

Apple, I am losing interest in you day by day...... Why are you doing what all others are? What happened to your unique and special way of doing things?

Just a sell out like all others. If I cannot opt out of this, then I will have to opt out of all of your products.

Ciao. You sucker sell out rotten apple!!

If I am wrong then please accept my apologies.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)