Hacker News new | past | comments | ask | show | jobs | submit login
[dupe] Apple admits iPhone 11 Pro still collects location data even when told not to (9to5mac.com)
256 points by bookofjoe on Dec 4, 2019 | hide | past | favorite | 29 comments

Other discussion with more comments https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=21699576

That one could have used a more descriptive submission title. (I would prefer an HN policy, FWIW, of favoring submission titles being informative over them being faithful to the original article's title.)

That title is better imo, this one is kind of misleading, insofar as it overstates the problem.

Debatable. Currently the only way to disable location tracking is to disable it entirely for all apps.

For example I can't restrict it to one app without enabling Apple to collect location data.

At the risk of seeming pedantic:

There is a difference between "Apple" and "your device". If there is evidence that Apple is collecting/using location data for some purpose not detailed in their privacy policy and granular settings, then yes, that would be a problem. But that isn't what the info currently available says. It says that the system (device itself) is periodically accessing location data IF location services (globally) are turned on. Seems to me that should be expected...

I agree this is a big problem, I just think the current title is misleading.

We've moved most comments from this thread to that thread.

Misleading headline - if you disable location services everything works as expected:

> To be clear, completely turning off Location Services does work

The only issue is that there are some system location services that cannot be toggled individually, like you can for individual apps. So if you want to turn them off, you have to turn location services off entirely.

This is still not great of course but much less dramatic than what the headline implies.

But, one of the "app" toggles is labelled "System Services" which apparently only disables some system services. I would expect that disable all system service/location functionality (while leaving me the option to enable some other single app).

For my use case, namely limiting access to 3rd party apps, this mostly works. But, the toggles could be named better.

But there isn't a general "System Services" toggle. There are a ton of specific toggles categorized as "System Services".

Sure, but given some of them are enumerated, along with other apps, I would expect turning them all off to effectively disable all system use of location services. By exposing any of them, Apple sets the expectation that those that are exposed are all of them.

I guess if you "can't tell" the offending internal app not to collect the data, it "hasn't been told not to", and thus the title is incorrect. But wow, that is quite a literalist view of the issue.

Alternatively, if you do tell the offending internal app to stop via the system toggle, it stops.

I think this particular point is what the article wishes to drive home. It seems awfully convenient that Apple is the only entity that can still obtain the user's location after giving them a user experience that makes it seem they have complete control over every possible feature that could access that information...

Convenient system services such as "Find My iPhone"... this title is dramatic.

Find my iPhone is toggled off though.

> Apple is the only entity that can still obtain the user's location

Do you know that to be the case - ie is Apple obtaining your location, or is it your device obtaining your location?

>It seems awfully convenient that Apple is the only entity that can still obtain the user's location

Except there is absolutely no evidence whatsoever that this is the case. All that is established is that if the user has explicitly opted in to the global location services option, then the device (system) does indeed periodically access location data. No one is alleging that any information is available to or shared with Apple outside of the established methods documented in the privacy policy.

But but Apple has spent millions branding itself as the privacy focused alterative to Android. Is it really possible that Apple lies about how privacy friendly their products are? Are we all to trust the Apple apologists who'll jump through hoops to excuse these findings?

Were we, the users, holding the phone wrong and causing antenna-gate? [1]

Were our tight pants to blame for the bending iPhone plus models? [2]

When Apple purposefully slowed our 1.5 year old iPhone to a crawl, after an iOS update, was it us hastening the degradatiom of the measily iPhone batteries? [3]

[1]: https://www.pcmag.com/encyclopedia/term/62034/antennagate

[2]: https://youtu.be/qkNlfMC1lzE

[3]: https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-42615378

> But but Apple has spent millions branding itself as the privacy focused alterative to Android.

That's not difficult to do, given how loose Android is with privacy. There are effectively two Phone OSes to choose from: iOS and Android. iOS is not perfect, far from it, but the breathless way the tech press at large has covered every foible with the iPhone has made me immediately question articles like this from the set out, and sure enough, sensationalized. Well it's only happened the last 500 times so I suppose it was fair to check.

Meanwhile Android runs like shit on phones with sixty bagillion cpu cores and 400 gigabytes of RAM, and the fanboys come out in droves to tell us iPhone users how stupid we are for having such "limited" devices, that despite all their limitations, all their battery problems, antenna problems, retain a good 40% of their resale value when you upgrade. Why? Because people want them, even used ones, because an out of gen iPhone running on a crippled battery with a cracked screen is STILL a better experience than an Android.

Sounds like you haven't used a flagship Android device in a while, or are a big fan of over the top hyperbole. Maybe both.

It's always funny when Apple comes up, it's almost like a holy crusade against them.

Apple is far more pro-privacy than its competitors, because its chief competitor requires reduction in privacy to make money.

That's what you get when you build a walled garden and then fail to deliver on your promises. That breaks the suspension of disbelief. The walled garden is a fundamentally immoral way to practically implement security features; but when the feature falls short you can't hide the wrong behind the good anymore.

I just don't see how it's immoral. That seems to be a stretch, and again, goes back to my claim of "religious crusade." Morality? Really?

From Apple, we expect perfection. They're trying to be pro privacy, so when they aren't, the pitchforks come out. Meanwhile Android's sole purpose is less privacy to feed into Google's business.

There are certain things I WANT to be a walled garden. Anything that holds my information, I would prefer that less people have potential access to that. And Apple is the only one who leads the way in this regard in true consumer products. Despite not being perfect, at least they put some effort in.

Let's see... a search on "Apple Sells Data"... oh those lawsuits and investigative journalism from different media outlets in the past calendar year is all bullshit. Because Apple wouldn't lie in its PR and advertisements! No lies are able to come out of the mouths of people when they're on stage at tech conferences. I'm so silly. Totally forgot all of that.

Hell, here's a fun read: https://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2019/01/apple...

PS. Apple's anti-consumer practices are really messed up.

What exactly is fun about that read? The guy is just shitting on Apple for basically allowing their users to use Google and Facebook and proposes mad solutions like banning Google and FB from the app store, or enforcing some privacy standard on all apps submitted to the App Store. As if enforcing that was even remotely feasible! And at the same time he complains that dev accounts cost $100 a year.

What an amazingly shallow and dumb article. The author clearly didn't even come close to thinking his ideas through. Is that the best one you could find?

So it is just a dark UX pattern?

>Misleading headline - if you disable location services everything works as expected:

Well, if you don't turn your phone on, you won't share the location either. And what information does that add ?

There's more nuance in the article than the headline would suggest, but this is still pretty bad IMO, particularly in the context of Apple's privacy-first marketing.

> Someone who wants Location Services switched on for Maps but off for everything else cannot achieve this, despite both Apple’s privacy policy and the Settings app implying that they can.

Guidelines | FAQ | Lists | API | Security | Legal | Apply to YC | Contact