There has been controversy concerning researchers’ revelations about the tracking and storage of users’ location data on Apple iPhones and 3G-enabled iPad tablets, as well as location tracking on Google Android devices. Now, Apple has released a software update in response to the location-tracking questions.
To download the update, attach your iPhone or 3G-enabled iPad to your computer; open iTunes (it may open automatically, depending on your settings); find your Device on the left-hand column under “Devices”; click on your device’s name and you’ll see the pane on your right change; under “Version,” it will either have a tab that says “Check for Update” or “Update” — click on either. The process should take several minutes.
Here’s more on the software update from MacWorld:
Apple said it would take a few weeks to issue an iOS update to fix a handful of bugs related to the storage of location data, but it’s taken just seven days between that announcement and the appearance of iOS 4.3.3.
As Apple promised in its location Q&A last week, iOS 4.3.3 addresses three bugs related to the database of location information on iOS devices. Firstly, it reduces the amount of the cached location information to a week’s worth, rather than relying on a size limit, as it previously did. Secondly, it no longer backs up the cache to your Mac or PC via iTunes upon syncing, so the information isn’t available to anyone with access to your computer. And finally, the cache is now deleted from the device when Location Services are disabled in iOS’s Settings app. Apple has also announced plans to encrypt the location information on iOS devices itself in the next major update to the operating system, which presumably refers to iOS 5. […]
These quick, efficient fixes should go a long way to settling concerns over the discovery of stored location data that sparked an outcry last month. The worries have even prompted a Congressional hearing on mobile privacy, scheduled for May 10, in which Apple CEO Steve Jobs said the company will participate.