Apple Testifies at Mobile Privacy Hearing

Ever since the location bug was revealed in iOS, mobile privacy has been garnering a lot of attention. So much attention in fact, that Apple has been called to participate in a U.S. Senate panel discussion on the topic, courtesy of Al Franken.

If you haven’t heard by now, Apple vice president Bud Tribble was sent by the Cupertino company to the hearing to set the record straight about location tracking in iOS. Not only has Apple corrected the location bug, they are apparently taking further steps to protect their user’s privacy…

The secret cache file that indadvertedly stored user location history was patched in Apple’s recent iOS update. Although the file still exists, it has been downsized tremendously and can be deleted by disabling location services in the Settings app.

MacRumors is reporting that Apple is looking to take things one step further by encrypting the downsized file, starting with the next major iOS release. The site shares a quote from Tribble at the hearing, concerning the security update:

“The local cache is protected with iOS Security features, but it is not encrypted. Beginning with the next major release of iOS, the operating system will encrypt any local cache of the hotspot and cell tower location information.”

Obviously, the vice president is referring to iOS 5, which will be unveiled early next month. Will they take special care to mention the new security features in their keynote? Luckily there’s just a few weeks left until WWDC.

Are you glad Apple is encrypting the local cache file? Or is Sen. Al Franken the only one who cares about the location bug?