Privacy advocates’ concern over Apple’s iPhone ‘kill switch’ overblown, say experts

“Privacy advocates’ concern over what Apple will do with iPhone user data may be overblown, industry experts say,” Olga Kharif reports or BusinessWeek.

“Concern over how Apple and software developers that work with it might use some of that intel surfaced in recent days with reports that the company built in a ‘kill switch’ that lets it disable applications it considers malicious, even after they’ve been downloaded onto a subscriber’s phone,” Kharif reports.

“But for all the unease over the kill switch, concerns over how Apple may use iPhone subscriber data may be misplaced, industry experts say. Apple isn’t alone in monitoring the applications used on its phones. Carriers keep close tabs on what’s being downloaded onto users’ handsets. Mobile software retailer Handango regularly removes offending games and utility applications from its site if they appear to infringe on another company’s copyright. ‘We have to do this all the time,’ says Handango CEO Bill Stone,” Kharif reports.

“Apple can also track the quality of wireless networks its devices use by noting how fast downloads occur. ‘No one’s been able to do that before,’ says Richard Doherty, director of consulting firm Envisioneering Group. ‘That’s the holy grail. By continually monitoring how consumers are using the phone, they are able to be super-responsive to glitches.’ Apple can also push software updates onto phones. Users of some other mobile devices have to seek out software updates themselves,” Kharif reports. “Don’t be surprised if those other manufacturers start following suit.”

More in the full article here.

25 Comments

  1. Isn’t this killswitch (the one found recently) there to STOP malicious apps from tracking a user’s location? Isn’t it PRO-privacy?

    Or, of they’re talking about the other killswitch (which nobody has found but Apple had stated exists) then it’s there for security–removal of malicious apps. Which means PRO-privacy too!

    The only “monitoring” here is that Apple knows what apps you have downloaded. Well, duh. You bought them from Apple with your account!

  2. Apple’s user’s privacy hasn’t been a major concern for them and it should be because we as consumers demand privacy and security using their products

    For instance when you “register” a new Mac, it puts your name everywhere in the computer, places you don’t expect which gets exposed to the internet and networks to be sniffed.

    The iPhone has been a NSA/spooks dream, with their hacks into AT&T;’s networks and the iPhone’s continued insecurity, makes everything you place on a iPhone PUBLIC KNOWLEDGE!!

    Most of Apple’s applications contact the internet, for some thing or another. For instance AddressBook contacts Apple even if YOU DON’T HAVE A DOT MAC (now MobileME) account.

    Get Little Snitch for your Mac and install it. It catches all the outgoing “phone homes” (delete the factory allowances) and you’ll be amazed!!

    Of course IntelMac’s have EFI, which is a OS like firmware level with it’s own partition on the drive and can access the internet/hard drive without your OS or you even knowing about it.

    A little present from the Wintel Alliance, Trusted Computing. Where THEY DON’T TRUST YOU!!

    Same with the iPhone, THEY DON’T TRUST YOU!!

    That’s why Cisco (of the NSA router backdoor fame) got involved with the “iPhone” trademark with Apple.

    http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/can-you-trust.html

  3. Put on your tinfoil hat! Stat!

    I never took mine off. Because you know, they sneak the “rays” in when you least expect it. ; )

    But seriously, there are many, like myself, that need a *cough* higher level of privacy than Apple currently provides. (I’m famous BTW)

    It’s NOT NORMAL to have your personal information just thrown around carelessly. People indeed do steal identities, which in my case would result in the loss of many people’s jobs if they got access to certain funds with a insecure computer system.

    There is a Apple provided Security PDF floating around that even states not to place Personal Identifying Information into Mac computers.

    Here it is

    MacOSX_Leopard_Security_TB.pdf

    I’m sure you can Google it for yourself.

  4. Some interesting observations presented, not so much with the ‘kill switch’ – but privacy in general

    You’ll have to do your own googling on this now, sorry, but was a recent report (at CBS/AP/?) talking with some big wig in US Gov (Homeland Security?) who said, in essence, do not take a cell phone to China – even when you have it turned off, “they” can tap into your phone, turn on the microphone, and listen to your conversation.

    Sounds far fetched to me, and I chalked it up to some Gov Security guy trying to justify his job and existence by spreading FUD about the boogie man. Next he’ll tell us to get out the foil hats to wear on our heads while we watch TV.

    But, in light of what Raving MacHead says, am starting to develop some questions. Might be some truth in these tales.

    MacHead, if you are not truly ‘Raving’ ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”grin” style=”border:0;” />

    Would you, and/or anyone else with insight of these matters, please provide additional info ?

    In meantime, just in case, let me go find that foil hat …

    Thanks, BC

  5. “That’s why Cisco (of the NSA router backdoor fame) got involved with the “iPhone” trademark with Apple.”

    That’s an enormous pile of steaming horse shit.

    http://blogs.cisco.com/news/comments/update_on_ciscos_iphone_trademark/

    “This lawsuit is about Cisco’s obligation to protect its trademark in the face of a willful violation. Our goal was collaboration. The action we have taken today is about not using people’s property without permission.”

    Amazingly, your usual zero level of credibility has plunged deep into negative numbers.

  6. “This lawsuit is about Cisco’s obligation to protect its trademark in the face of a willful violation. Our goal was collaboration. The action we have taken today is about not using people’s property without permission.”

    Oh poo, corporate mumbo jumbo.

    Who the fsck trademarks “iPhone” after Apple has already used the “i” for “iMac” “iPods” and so on and then doesn’t produce the Cisco “iPhone”.

    Yea someone who wanted Apple to “play ball” and ease up on their security. We got a insecure iPhone and now EFI ratting computers.

    The Wintel/NSA alliance has won.

    http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/can-you-trust.html

  7. I won’t say anymore about this subject, but people should be aware they cannot trust their computers or phones to do as they expect.

    But of the two major OS makers, Apple is better than Microsoft in this regard. But not good enough in my opinion.

  8. “That’s why Cisco (of the NSA router backdoor fame) got involved with the “iPhone” trademark with Apple.”
    Umm, no, CIsco got involved with the iPhone trademark issue because it pounced all over Cisco’s already produced hardware name: i.e. the iPhone. Not really sure what the whole NSA thing is about, but apparently you are more informed than I am.

  9. “Who the fsck trademarks “iPhone” after Apple has already used the “i” for “iMac” “iPods” and so on and then doesn’t produce the Cisco “iPhone”.” Apparently, Apple, since the iPhone had already been trademarked by Cisco, but hey, let’s not let facts get in the way of a good conspiracy theory.

  10. ” . . .let’s not let facts get in the way of a good conspiracy theory.”

    Good one! ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”grin” style=”border:0;” />

    Ironically, Raving Lunatic hasn’t noticed the unmarked van that’s been sitting in front of his house for the last six weeks.

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