Apple has finally ended its silence on the iPhone location tracking controversy that has had privacy advocates up in arms.
The company said in a Q&A posted on its website (opens in new tab)that the company does not track iPhone users’ locations and has no plans to do so in the future.
“The iPhone is not logging your location. Rather, it’s maintaining a database of Wi-Fi hotspots and cell towers around your current location, some of which may be located more than one hundred miles away from your iPhone, to help your iPhone rapidly and accurately calculate its location when requested,” the company explained.
It also said that the data was stored in a cache file on the device but due to a bug, the cache stored the data for as long as a year and it also caused the file to be continuously updated even after users had turned the location services off.
Apple said that it plans to release an update for the iOS operating system that fixes these two problems. The company also said that the update will encrypt the cache file on the iPhone.
The controversy started when two British researchers discovered that allegedly Apple tracked the location its iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad customers without their knowledge and stored the information in a secret file on the device.