It looks like Apple users won't have too wait very long to (possibly) resolve some of their privacy concerns.
BGR says that its Apple sources have confirmed the release of iOS 4.3.3 within the next two weeks. Version 4.3.3 will apparently contain fixes for the "bugs" that led to the whole location tracking debacle of the last two weeks.
Apple issued a late response last week about the issue. In this response they stated that while they occasionally collect data randomly and anonymously for mapping purposes, they do not receive specific location data on users. The biggest deal for many who were concerned was the fact that the consolidated.db file was keeping info for such a long period of time - up to a year in some cases.
Apple had this to say regarding the file:
6. People have identified up to a year’s worth of location data being stored on the iPhone. Why does my iPhone need so much data in order to assist it in finding my location today?
This data is not the iPhone’s location data—it is a subset (cache) of the crowd-sourced Wi-Fi hotspot and cell tower database which is downloaded from Apple into the iPhone to assist the iPhone in rapidly and accurately calculating location. The reason the iPhone stores so much data is a bug we uncovered and plan to fix shortly (see Software Update section below). We don’t think the iPhone needs to store more than seven days of this data.
Here is what iOS 4.3.3 will fix, according to BGR's sources:
- The update will no longer back up the location database to iTunes.
- The size of the location database will be reduced.
- The location database will be deleted entirely when Location Services are turned off, which will satisfy those who were upset to learn that this small measure of privacy control wasn't really working.
- Battery life improvements.
- iPod bug fixes.