Apple iPhone 11 Pro Tracking Location Without User's Consent


Apple has been stressing on the privacy of personal data and the security of its devices since its establishment. However, the data on iPhone 11 Pro isn't as safe as we previously thought. A security research report from KrebsOnSecurity has found that the Apple iPhone 11 Pro is collecting location data of the user, even when turned off.

Apple iPhone 11 Pro Tracking Location Without User's Consent


Apple iPhone 11 Pro Tracking Location

The security report says: "One of the more curious behaviors 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's privacy policy for the iPhone Location Services states that the iPhone will timely send geo-tagged locations of nearby Wi-Fi hotspots and cell towers. The locations will be sent in an anonymous and encrypted form to Apple, which will be used for augmenting this crowd-sourced database of Wi-Fi hotspot and cell tower locations, the policy notes.

Apple allows iPhone users to block all their location services completely. Users can go to Settings > Privacy > Location Services and turn it off for all the apps downloaded on the smartphone. Once switched off, the location services indicator doesn't appear, unless the location service is enabled once again.

However, the security researcher has found some system services on the iPhone 11 Pro that requests location data. It can't be disabled by the users without completely turning off location services. The report says that the location 'arrow' icon still appears periodically, even after disabling all the system services. It could be found on other iPhone 11 models, the researcher says.

Apple's Response

Upon hearing the security report, an Apple engineer wrote a response: " We do not see any actual security implications." The statement further mentioned that it is 'expected behavior' that the Location Services icon appears when the service is enabled. The 'arrow' icon appears for system services, which don't have a switch in the Settings.


However, the question of privacy and security pops up. The security report is contradictory to what the iPhone maker has always been vouching for. It certainly means a lapse in security and privacy models that the company boasts of.

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