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Home / Tech / iPhone 11 pro collects location data even when it is not supposed to, says researcher

iPhone 11 pro collects location data even when it is not supposed to, says researcher

Apple says that is this a feature, and not a bug

tech Updated: Dec 05, 2019 14:06 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
FILE PHOTO: Apple's new (L-R) iPhone 11 Pro Max, 11 Pro and 11 are displayed after they went on sale at the Apple Store in Beijing, China , September 20, 2019. REUTERS/Jason Lee
FILE PHOTO: Apple's new (L-R) iPhone 11 Pro Max, 11 Pro and 11 are displayed after they went on sale at the Apple Store in Beijing, China , September 20, 2019. REUTERS/Jason Lee(REUTERS)
         

Apple has always been known for the cool security features found in its devices. These, more often than not, especially when compared to Android ones, gives the user full control over what data is being shared where.

However, according to a researcher, Apple’s new flagship devices – the iPhone 11 Pro – has been collecting location data “even when it’s not supposed to”.

Security researcher Brain Krebs explained in his blog that – “One of the more curious behaviours of Apple’s new iPhone 11 Pro is that it 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 lets you turn off location services on your iPhone very easily. You just need to go to Settings, click on Privacy, pick Location Services and turn it off. What this does, however, is stunt a whole bunch of apps that rely on location data for functionality and therefore, turning off location services is not ideal.

What Apple also lets you do in this case is that it allows you to turn off location services for apps individually from System Services.

“There are some location services on this model (and possibly other iPhone 11 models) which request location data and cannot be disabled by users without completely turning off location services,” Krebs pointed out.

The researcher had turned off location services for all apps individually and the main location services’ setting was left on and he noticed that the location services indicator was periodically suggesting that the phone was still picking up data.

However, this was spotted when the location services were turned off individually for apps and the main services were left on.

This doesn’t seem to be something new though. iPhone users have reported the same issue on iOS 13 but Krebs did not find this happening on an iPhone 8.

Apple has pointed out that this is a “feature” and not “a bug”. An engineer from Apple told Krebs that the company “does not see any actual security implications” in this and that it is “expected behaviour”.

“The icon appears for system services that do not have a switch in Settings,” the engineer explained.

The company itself has not responded to this as yet.

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