updated 03:00 pm EDT, Sat July 12, 2014
Apple defines what location tracking does, how it works
Apple has responded to Chinese government media allegations of the iPhone and iPad being a national security threat. A Chinese-language statement titled "Your Location Privacy" has been posted by the Cupertino manufacturer, with the company guaranteeing that it won't track users, or share information location with outsiders. Additionally, it claims that the "frequent locations" feature touted for iOS8 will just "quickly and reliably determine their current locations for specific activities such as shopping, travel, finding the nearest restaurant or calculating the amount of time it takes them to get to work," and not leak any personal data.
State broadcaster CCTV reports sometimes force companies to change policies or recall products. The report also quoted officials as saying that China needs stiffer data protection laws, and that Apple would have to "take on any legal responsibilities" for data leaks.
In the statement that took only one day to craft, Apple says that it "appreciates CCTV's effort to help educate customers on a topic we think is very important. We want to make sure all of our customers in China are clear about what we do and we don't do when it comes to privacy and your personal data."
The company claims that the feature encrypts data and stores it locally on the device only. It says that "Apple gives customers control over collection and use of location data on all our devices. Customers have to make the choice to enable Location Services, it is not a default setting. Apple does not allow any app to receive device location information without first receiving the user's explicit consent through a simple pop-up alert. This alert is mandatory and cannot be overridden."
Finishing its remarks, Apple says that the company has "never worked with any government agency from any country to create a backdoor in any of our products or services. We have also never allowed access to our servers. And we never will. It's something we feel very strongly about."