April 28th, 2011
Jobs Says Apple Made Mistakes With iPhone Data
The New York Times
Hoping to put to rest a growing controversy over privacy, Steven P. Jobs, Apple’s chief executive, took the unusual step of personally explaining that while Apple had made mistakes in how it handled location data on its mobile devices, it had not used the iPhone and iPad to keep tabs on the whereabouts of its customers.
“We haven’t been tracking anybody,” Mr. Jobs said in an interview on Wednesday. “Never have. Never will.”
Mr. Jobs said that Apple would fix the mistakes in a free software update that it would release in the next few weeks.
Mr. Jobs, who is currently on medical leave, addressed the issue along with two Apple executives — Philip W. Schiller, the senior vice president of worldwide product marketing, and Scott Forstall, the senior vice president of iPhone software. A week ago, two researchers reported that they had discovered a file in Apple’s devices containing what appeared to be data of the locations visited by users over the previous 12 months. The discovery raised fears that Apple was tracking its users and prompted investigations by various European governments and demands for explanations from United States lawmakers.
Earlier on Wednesday, Apple posted a statement on its Web site explaining how its system used the file to pinpoint a phone’s location.
Mr. Jobs defended the timing of Apple’s response to the controversy, saying that “rather than run to the P.R. department,” it set out to determine exactly what happened.