Prepare to be shocked…if this is your first day on the Internet. If it’s not, then you can read it, then point and laugh at the ones who are shocked. Apple is collecting “precise, real-time geographic location” on iPhones, iPads and possibly even computers, according to some reading over at the LA Times.
In case you haven’t noticed, increasingly applications will ask to know your location in order to work. So Apple apparently has cut out the middle man in acquiring that data. Now, when you agree to the new terms and conditions in the iTunes store, you’ll also be agreeing to a small paragraph that gives Apple and other “partners and licensees” the ability to store and collect data on you.
Here’s a copy/paste from the new paragraph:
To provide location-based services on Apple products, Apple and our partners and licensees may collect, use, and share precise location data, including the real-time geographic location of your Apple computer or device. This location data is collected anonymously in a form that does not personally identify you and is used by Apple and our partners and licensees to provide and improve location-based products and services. For example, we may share geographic location with application providers when you opt in to their location services.
Some location-based services offered by Apple, such as the MobileMe “Find My iPhone” feature, require your personal information for the feature to work.
Yes folks, cue the privacy outcries. But the fact is, what Apple is doing is nothing more than what it says. It’s collecting information that will help it to provide better services over the long run. Companies need access to this information, in long-term formats, in order to provide the best end-user experience.
So you heard it here first. Before anyone starts screaming, just bear in mind that Apple has spent the better part of the past 5 years developing and releasing the products that make you drool. It’s going to take some major innovation to keep that curve moving, and information such as this is what will help to lead it.
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