updated 02:55 pm EDT, Wed April 27, 2011
Apple to comply with gov't. testimony requests
Apple CEO Steve Jobs has reiterated some of the company's official positions on iOS tracking in a new interview. "We haven't been tracking anyone," Jobs tells All Things Digital. "The files they [researchers] found on these phones, as we explained, it turned out were basically files we have built through anonymous, crowdsourced information that we collect from the tens of millions of iPhones out there."
The executive also repeats claims that excessive stored data is related to a bug, and that the problem will be solved in a future firmware update. He blames panic on a lack of education by the industry. "As new technology comes into the society there is a period of adjustment and education," he comments. "We haven't -- as an industry -- done a very good job educating people, I think, as to some of the more subtle things going on here. As such, (people) jumped to a lot of wrong conclusions in the last week."
In contrast with an earlier email, Jobs is refusing to comment on the specific practices of other companies, like Google. "Some of them don't do what we do. That's for sure," he charges. He points out that iOS requires people to authorize location services for each app, and that there is a way of seeing which apps have been using location info. Google's Android platform has been accused of transmitting unnecessary data, but its content appears to be similar to the "crowdsourced information" cited by Jobs.
Regarding testimonies asked for by the US Congress and by other government bodies, Jobs suggests that Apple is looking forward to them and the ability to clarify the situation. "I think Apple will be testifying," he says. "They have asked us to come and we will honor their request, of course." The executive adds that he feels it will be interesting to see how closely the press follows events and examines what other companies are doing.