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Apple Does Not Track Movements, Android Does

According to Steve Jobs, Apple does not use any of the location data that is stored on an individual’s iPad or iPhone. Apparently the configuration file that was recently discovered is a bug and the info collected within that database file is stored on the device itself. When an iPhone user recently threatened Jobs that he would switch to an Android phone, Jobs claimed “we don’t track anyone, [Android] does.” I assume some worried consumers contacted Google because they recently admitted that they in fact do track Android users, but they do so anonymously.

A Google spokesman explained that Google tracks users’ movements to provide customized services such as maps, improved search results for nearby shops or restaurants, and to study traffic on various roads. The spokesman said, “Any location data that is sent back to Google location servers is anonymised and is not tied or traceable to a specific user.”

Consumers should note that they can opt out of the data collection on their phone by turning off the location services, although this limits some functions of the phone such as searching via “current location.” If you’re the type of person that uses a lot of GPS, this can become a bit of a hassle to manually input your starting point. Take a look at the video below to see how Google uses your anonymous location data to improve Google services such as traffic predictions. If there is any take home message from Google, it is that they are true fans of data sharing.

Photo Courtesy of Andrew Hyde
Photo Courtesy of Alexyv