At first Apple tried to stonewall and claimed the location database was benign and not shared with anyone.
Threats of class action lawsuits, Congressional investigations and the mounting publicity got Apple’s development team working overtime to release an update last night that removes some of the location tracking features.
According to Apple, the changes reduce the crowd sourcing cache size, remove the backup to iTunes where it may be accessed by third parties, and deletes the location “cache entirely if Location Services is turned off.”
The crowd sourcing feature is not eliminated but the fix is a compromise that will probably satisfy most critics.
The update installs effortlessly in a few minutes. We tested it on an iPad and iPhone 2 with smooth results. We measure that by ability of the devices to function normally after the update, which they do.
This is one area where Apple shines: they don’t generally release untested code into the wild. Customer satisfaction with Apple is well earned as they seem to recover quickly from mistakes and gaffes. Perhaps they learned from the famous iPhone 2 antenna-gate.
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