For the past week we’ve heard a lot about this iPhone location tracking situation. Today Apple has finally responded by saying that the Consolidated.db file was not used as a means of tracking your iPhone’s movement. According to Apple, there was never any intention to track user’s iPhone location.
Apple’s response reads like an FAQ regarding the location tracking drama. Apple says that the location data we’ve been seeing is the cell towers and WiFi networks near your iPhone to help with location services. Apple is collecting anonymous, encrypted data on these points to help with those location services, but it is not a means to track your iPhone’s movements (and, by extension, yours). The location of these towers and hotspots are stored by Apple, downloaded to your iPhone and backed up in iTunes.
Apple did admit a few flaws, however. The company admitted that there should only be a week’s of data stored in the file, and an upcoming software update will fix that issue. The software update will also stop the data from being backed up via iTunes, so no there will be more maps detailing cell towers and hotspots near your iPhone whenever the update gets pushed through. Finally, Apple will empty the cache of the location data completely when you turn off Location Services. That seem like it should have been there already, and should be at least frustrating to those who thought they could get rid of the data that way already.