For a company that seems to pride itself on protecting the privacy of its users, it seems that Apple’s iPhone 11 might have a serious privacy problem. This is according to a report from Krebs On Security in which it was discovered that despite disabling location tracking, the iPhone 11 continues accessing it anyway.
For those unfamiliar, iOS has a setting in which it can block location access or limit it on an app-to-app basis, where you can choose to allow some apps to access your location, and prevent other apps from using it. However, according to the report, “One of the more curious behaviors of Apple’s new iPhone 11 Pro is that it intermittently seeks the user’s location information even when all applications and system services on the phone are individually set to never request this data.”
It sounds like this could be a bug that can be patched in a software update, but as it turns out, this was kind of an intended feature. When asked about it, an Apple engineer reportedly told the publication, “We do not see any actual security implications. It is expected behavior that the Location Services icon appears in the status bar when Location Services is enabled. The icon appears for system services that do not have a switch in Settings”
We’re not sure given the backlash now that this has been revealed, if Apple plans on making some changes to address it in the future, but for now, it’s something to take note of.