“Apple Inc.’s iPhone is collecting and storing location information even when location services are turned off, according to a test conducted by The Wall Street Journal,” Jennifer Valentino-Devries reports for The Wall Street Journal. “The location data appear to be collected using cellphone towers and Wi-Fi access points near a user’s phone and don’t appear to be transmitted back to Apple.”

“Still, the fact that the iPhone is collecting and storing location data—even when location services are turned off—is likely to renew questions about how well users are informed about the data being gathered by their cellphones,” Valentino-Devries reports. “The discovery of the iPhone location file comes amid growing concern about cellphone tracking overall. Last week, the Journal reported that Apple’s iPhone and cellphones powered by Google Inc.’s Android software transmitted their locations back to Google and Apple, respectively.”

The Journal tested the collection of data on an iPhone 4 that had been restored to factory settings and was running the latest version of Apple’s iOS operating system,” Valentino-Devries reports. “The Journal disabled location services (which are on by default) and immediately recorded the data that had initially been gathered by the phone. The Journal then carried the phone to new locations and observed the data. Over the span of several hours as the phone was moved, it continued to collect location data from new places.”

Valentino-Devries reports, “These data included coordinates and time stamps; however, the coordinates were not from the exact locations that the phone traveled, and some of them were several miles away. The phone also didn’t indicate how much time was spent in a given location.”

Read more in the full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Fred Mertz” for the heads up.]

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