Apple says iPhone 11 Pro collects user data even when location services are disabled

midian182

TechSpot Editor
Staff member

KrebsOnSecurity’s Brian Krebs noted that the iPhone 11 Pro “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 says that this isn’t a bug but by design.

Users can turn off all location services on the iPhone by going to Settings > Privacy > Location Services and toggling the option. For those who don’t want a total block, it’s also possible to turn off location services for each individual app and system service. But Krebs notes that “there are some system services on this model (and possibly other iPhone 11 models) which request location data and cannot be disabled by users without completely turning off location services.”

So, even if you switch off location services for every app and system service, the handset will still be seeking your location occasionally. The only way to stop it completely is to switch the master setting for location services to Off.

In a statement, Apple explained that this wasn’t a security issue. “We do not see any actual security implications,” wrote a company engineer. “It is expected behavior that the Location Services icon appears in the status bar when Location Services is enabled. The icon appears for system services that do not have a switch in Settings.”

Turning off the master setting for location services is easy enough, but if a user picks a single app, such as Maps, to use the feature, they would expect that app to be the only one accessing their location.

Earlier this week, Apple admitted that some 13-inch MacBook Pros were shutting down unexpectedly.

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Squid Surprise

TS Evangelist
Wow... time to really nitpick...

"My phone tracks me when I leave location services on!"

"Did you bother to turn location services off? It takes 2 seconds!"

"No, I painstakingly disabled it for each individual app instead!"

"Are you a complete m0ron?"
 
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Reactions: GreenNova343
Wow... time to really nitpick...

"My phone tracks me when I leave location services on!"

"Did you bother to turn location services off? It takes 2 seconds!"

"No, I painstakingly disabled it for each individual app instead!"

"Are you a complete m0ron?"
Kind of in agreement here. If you don't want any app to use Location Services, it's much easier to simply turn it completely off from Settings. You should only be turning it off individually if you need it for apps that make sense (Google Maps & Yelp, for example, where you not only want to be able to search for stuff before leaving the house, but want to be able to search/find directions from your current location).
 

brucek

TS Guru
So anyone know what those core system services are that use location data but do not have individual apps / names associated with them?
 

netman

TS Evangelist
"The only way to stop it completely is to switch the master setting for location services to Off."

The above is False too not just for iPhone 11 but for All cell phones..! Your general location can be transmitted using your nearest cell tower for hackers and like...Now , your exact location can transmitted by your SIM card...Surprise...!