Apple says that it doesn’t record location data from iPhone. The Cupertino based company has released a statement in response to the recent controversy. According to Apple consolidated.db is only being used on iOS as a cache to quickly determine your location.
The database contains no location data from the iPhone itself, but it uses anonymous data that comes from Apple’s servers. This data is quickly used to determine a location, by using Wi-Fi networks and provider signals. Developers can use this information in application, including location based services and targeted advertising, Apple says.
We don’t really know what to think of the statement, since the cache still gives a good indication where the iPhone was being used. This is because the cache will always be downloaded if the user is at that place, so it doesn’t really matter that Apple is providing the information, or that it uses the iPhone information.
Apple however said that in an upcoming software update, they will make the cache considerable smaller, which will mean that it will no longer track the location data of a whole year. They also said that they will encrypt the consolidated.db so that others can no longer read this data.
The controversy started about a week ago, when users found out that Apple was saving accurate location information on iPhones and iPad’s, and that this information was being synced en copied to the desktop. Later it appeared that Google was doing similar things on their Android devices. It is unclear how long Android and iOS are tracking location data.