The media has been firing on all cylinders about the public uncovering of the iPhone’s shady location database file. Speculation has been that Apple and/or network carriers are intentionally tracking the coordinates of iPhone users through the device’s Location Services.

Experts on the issue have deemed the location database non-threatening, legal, and most likely a simple mistake on Apple’s end. If you want anymore clarification, Steve Jobs himself has shed some light on this issue, calling it “false.”

In an email correspondence between a MacRumors reader and Steve Jobs, the privacy issue of the location database was raised. The email sender expressed concerns about what Apple was or wasn’t doing with the iPhone’s location data, and Jobs responded poignantly,

Q: Steve,

Could you please explain the necessity of the passive location-tracking tool embedded in my iPhone? It’s kind of unnerving knowing that my exact location is being recorded at all times. Maybe you could shed some light on this for me before I switch to a Droid. They don’t track me.

A: Oh yes they do. We don’t track anyone. The info circulating around is false.

Sent from my iPhone

Not only does Steve Jobs answer in his typical, straightforward fashion, but he also takes a jab at Android. It is a known fact that Google openly tracks the location of smartphones running its mobile OS, although Google does limit the amount of location logs stored, while Apple does not.

When Steve Jobs says “track,” he is responding to a concern about the pinpoint, “Big Brother” kind of location tracking. Apple is clear that it “collects” user data (such as GPS info), but it does not use that data to specifically “track” any one user.

Only Google can speak for its role in user tracking, but Apple has made it clear that they aren’t stalking your every move.

What do you think about what Steve Jobs had to say? Does all of this location-tracking business even bother you? If it does, you can install a jailbreak tweak called untrackerd that clears the location database from saving your coordinates.

  • F3n1x187

    i can see this plox in the next season of CSI/NCIS/Law and Order 😛

  • F3n1x187

    i can see this plox in the next season of CSI | NCIS | Law and Order 😛

  • Paul Zammit

    You know, GPS satellites already have you tracked once you get a locked signal, and nothing really tracks you better then your carrier. Actually, your cell tower location can help you get a lock on your GPS. We all know GPS and carriers has been around for a very long time, why bother now?

  • Daniel Courtney-Gregerson

    lol @ the ad on this site for a GPS tracker that you plug into a car’s OBD port

  • Jimmy

    Mayby they are tracking where there is poor signal haha joking no 3G in my area track me if that’s the case

  • BossWaw

    the main point is,, this post is just wana advertice that tweak,, so they can win some money,, nice try,, making issue’s,,so the community ganna buy that tweak,, wat a trap!!!

    • XepptizZ

      The tweak is free

    • Roy

      What have you been smoking kid!?

  • MrA

    I’m sure many different people are tracking us. Even Steve jobs.

  • BossWaw

    the main point is, this p0st is just wana advertice that tweak, so they can win s0me m0ney, nice try, making issue’s, s0 the community ganna buy that tweak, wat a trapp

    • MrA

      So you think Apple purposely made this tracking tool in the iPhone so that iDB would post a link to a third party jailbreak app that would disable it?

      No.

    • appletiser

      what the hell are you rambling on about?? firstly its a 3rd party app, nothing to do with Apple and secondly the tweak costs nothing to install, nada, zilch, zero… so where is this invisible money coming from?? eh?? :-/

  • BossWaw

    dont think too much guyz!! this post is just only a tacticz, wana lure us, drive us, to think that we r V.I.P. ,, i men we r notblike jason bourn men,, we r not like james von,, hash!!
    so, i mean,, why they gana track us,, we r notin, not even have a value so just think too much haaaleerrr!! wake up nutzz!!

    • MrA

      You are correct. I couldn’t imagine anyone wanting to track you.

  • John

    Track me home to work work to home and on and on and on lol. They have to be pretty bored to worry about where I am. Fuck em who cares.

  • BossWaw

    u ddnt get men!! dont be like a guyz on a tribe!! let say,, its free now,, but the more community biting this advertice,, its so easy for them to make a new version tweak to purchase!!! think men think,, u fish brain!!!

    • XepptizZ

      Ryan pertrich made the tweak and as of many of his tweaks remain free uptoo today and beyond.

      Stop talking ridiculously and stop saying ridiculous thIngs.

  • JoBerlin

    Have you read the article about that white iPhone on TMobile(USA)? For those who missed it. Have a look: http://www.bgr.com/2011/04/23/exclusive-apple-testing-iphone-4-for-t-mobile-usa/
    And now look closely at those 2 pictures:
    http://www.bgr.com/nggallery/page-320/album-all/gallery-158/image/2111/
    http://www.bgr.com/nggallery/page-320/album-all/gallery-158/image/2112/
    These are the settings for GPS/location logging. I guess a programmer just made a little mistake and the switches don’t change anything. The GPS data will be logged anyway.
    At least the database isn’t sent to anyone – why bother?
    And I don’t think that untrackered will cost money in the future.

  • BossWaw

    okkee, up to u guyz,, but i wana mean,,
    fo wat?!! fo what reaZon!! i ddnt see any reasonable reason to link my iDevice on this unnecesary tweak!! (am i right?) hash!!

    i mean,just use common sence men!!
    wana hide fo wat?!! fo wat porpose?!!
    think of it!! brain-fish!!!

  • Pete

    Omg, Redmondpie at least referred to an “alleged e-mail from Steve Jobs that cannot be verified” – on iDB it’s a fact. Sure, Apple haven’t released a statement yet Steve Jobs replies to som reader’s e-mail. Yeah right.

    Getting disgusted with the way this website is run – “journalism” at its worst.

  • Michael

    Just because Steve Jobs says something doesnt make it true, honestly do you believe everything you hear?

  • @Pete,

    Stop advertising RedmondPie on this site. If you don’t like the content of this blog, just don’t bother visiting.

    I find your comment offensive, indirectly saying who is visiting this blog is stupid.

    • Pete

      @Jericho, sorry, wasn’t trying to advertise anything, merely comparing aproach to unverified sources.
      I realize my comment came out quite offensive which wasn’t intended. I just hope whoever runs this blog will listen anyway and will try to be more serious about the posts. Quite often there is valuable info here, but it’s a real pain seeing stupid articles like this one. I do hope you see the main point of my previous comment despite disliking it – this whole aricle was based on some bloke claiming to have received a reply from Steve J himself regarding a sensitive issue. Somehow I just don’t see that happening. Yet this blog takes it as a fact not doubting it at all.

  • sas

    maybe if u noobs r were smart u would no y and how u r being tracked

    • MrA

      You really showed your intelligence with that post. Baahahahahahahaha!

      • sas

        if u use ure mind u will notice how

  • iphoner

    I leave location services off for battery purposes does that mean they aren’t tracking me? or are they using cell service to track?

  • Batmanlax

    I don’t think the tracking is a bad thing. Hopefully Apple uses the data to improve is iOS platform and shares the data (in general terms, not on individuals.. More like analysis and percentages) with witless providers like AT&T who could use some help improving the coverage and reliability of their network.

    • Batmanlax

      *Wireless (typing on iPhone now haha)

  • iPhoneTech3

    For real, quit it with this nonsense already. Honestly, who cares if Apple saves logs with information about your location? Not like APPLE will hunt you down, rob you and kill you. Just think about it, and when you realise all the fuzz you’re making about it, continue to enjoy your iPhone the way it was meant to be: with no preocupations, whatsoever.

    • sas

      nicley said