Meg Marco for Consumerist, on Apple’s updated section on location data in its privacy policy:

Apple updated its privacy policy today, with an important, and dare we say creepy new paragraph about location information.

Here’s the text of Apple’s updated location privacy policy:

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.

How is this “creepy”? Location data on iOS is always explicitly opt-in. You, the user, must grant applications explicit permission to access location data — including Apple’s own system apps. This policy spells out what happens when you do grant this permission. Whenever location data is being accessed, you get an indicator in the status bar. And in Settings → General → Location Services you get a listing of every app with location privileges, the ability to turn it off, and an indicator for each app that has accessed your location within the last 24 hours.

Wednesday, 23 June 2010