The issue is the fact that this location log is being created in the first place — that it stores a full year’s worth of data, and does so without customers’ permission or knowledge. Think about how potentially revealing a year’s worth of location records can be for many people. It could reveal not only where you live, work and play, but your religion, your political activities, medical problems, your friends and lovers, how often you drive to the liquor store, or bars, or sexually oriented establishments of various kinds, what other cities and towns you visit and where you go there, and how you get there. None of this anybody’s business.
The ACLU’s Jay Stanley isn’t satisfied with Apple’s response to location-data-gate, arguing that the mere fact that iPhones and iPads collect this data is problematic.
It’s frightening to think of how information about your every move could fall into others’ hands. Apple’s software update, which will limit the scope of the data to the previous 7 days, is a step in the right direction (though Stanley doesn’t seem to register that step in his response).
But the larger issue isn’t about what data Apple is collecting right now; as Stanley puts it, “When a household name like Apple does something like this, it should be a reminder to everyone that as computing power expands, and devices shrink into our pockets and plug into location networks, we need better protections for our data.”