13 January 2020
Earlier this week, security researcher and reporter Brian Krebs reported that Apple iPhone 11 Pro Max (and whole iPhone 11 line) was consistently checking user location even when the permissions were disabled. Apple initially described it as an "expected behavior" but has now offered a detailed explanation of the matter. It has also assured that there are no privacy concerns for users to worry about.
Apple has told TechCrunch that iPhone 11 is consistently looking for user location because of Ultra-wideband technology. It is a new tech that Apple debuted with the new iPhone 11 lineup. It is currently used for AirDrop purposes where users can share files with other iPhone 11 users by simply pointing their device at others. It essentially makes the process of finding nearby iPhones faster and more convenient.
It is said to be an industry-standard technology but is not approved by all countries. This is the reason Apple says iPhone 11 checks for the current location to determine if the user is in a country that disallows tech's usage. If this is found to be correct, then the tech disables itself automatically to comply with the local laws.
Here is Apple's official statement:
"Ultra-wideband technology is an industry-standard technology and is subject to international regulatory requirements that require it to be turned off in certain locations. iOS uses Location Services to help determine if an iPhone is in these prohibited locations in order to disable ultra-wideband and comply with regulations. The management of ultra-wideband compliance and its use of location data is done entirely on the device and Apple is not collecting user location data".
Apple has further assured that it will release an iOS update that will allow users to disable the ultra-wideband technology at will. This will enable disabling location permissions completely for those who are not comfortable with the regular location checking.
- The Apple iPhone 11 Pro Max isn't still available online. To be notified when it becomse available click here.
- The Apple iPhone 11 Pro isn't still available online. To be notified when it becomse available click here.
- The Apple iPhone 11 isn't still available online. To be notified when it becomse available click here.