Published in Mobiles

Flagship iPhone spies on users

by on06 December 2019

Even when it is turned off

Fruity cargo cult Apple is in the middle of another spying row after security researcher and journalist Brian Krebs noted that the flagship iPhone 11 Pro will track a user’s location, even when location settings are turned off.

Red-faced Jobs' Mob, which lectures other companies about accidentally or deliberately monitoring users was accused of writing code that intermittently seeks the user’s location information even when all applications and system services on the phone are individually set to never request this data.”

Apple has responded that it was a super cool feature to allow game-changing new short-range technology that users to share files locally with other nearby phones that have the same capability.  To use that tech, Apple needed to know where users were at any given minute. What is wrong with that ?

“We do not see any actual security implications,” an Apple engineer wrote in a response to KrebsOnSecurity. “It is expected behaviour that the Location Services icon appears in the status bar when Location Services is enabled. The icon appears for system services that do not have a switch in Settings."

Krebs pointed out that this is at odds with Apple’s privacy policy, noted Krebs. He said the privacy policy explains users can disable all location services entirely with one swipe (by navigating to Settings > Privacy > Location Services, then switching “Location Services” to “off”).

“When one does this, the location services indicator – a small diagonal upward arrow to the left of the battery icon – no longer appears unless Location Services is re-enabled,” he noted.

But he warned that with the iPhone 11 Pro (and possibly other iPhone 11 models), there are some system services which request location data and cannot be disabled by users without completely turning off location services, as the arrow icon still appears periodically even after individually disabling all system services that use location.

Apple has since said that while it will not be removing the spy function from its phones, presumably because it is too super cool, it will allow it to be disabled.  If users know about it and don't want Apple and law enforcement knowing their movements. 



Last modified on 06 December 2019
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