Beware of the iPhone 11, it collects data from your positions even if it is disabled

Get real time updates directly on you device, subscribe now.

A security researcher discovered that the iPhone 11 Pro from Apple, and possibly the iPhone 11, collect and transmit the location data for users continuously, even if the location services settings in applications are disabled, a behavior that may pose potential security risks.

Security journalist Brian Krebs also pointed out that iPhone 11 Pro periodically contacts its GPS unit to collect location data, and Krebs showed this in a video clip recorded on the iPhone 11 Pro phone running version 13.2.3 From the operating system iOS.

In the video, it appears that the phone continues to collect GPS data for some applications and system services even with manually disabling location services individually in the phone settings. Interestingly, iPhone 11 Pro searches for GPS data even when the user activates the option to permanently block access to location data in application settings.

Apple says in the privacy policy available to view the location services settings screen for iPhone phones that the phone “will periodically send the locations with the geographical markings of the nearby Wi-Fi hotspots and cellular communication towers (if the device supports them) in an anonymous and encrypted form to Apple, to use it to increase the database obtained from a set of Wi-Fi hotspots and cellular sites. The company states that location-based system services can be disabled individually in the settings, but Krebs found that iPhone or iOS Excludes certain services.

And Krebs said in a post: “But it seems that there are some system services in this model (and perhaps other iPhone 11 models) that require location data and users cannot disable it without turning off the site services completely, as the stock icon still appears periodically even after disabling all System services that use the site individually. “

In the operating system (iOS), users can activate or deactivate the system’s location services via the user interface provided in the Privacy section and then Location Services in the Settings application.

Apple does not apply these restrictions
It is noteworthy that Apple has improved with the iOS 13 system the ability to control the ability of applications to access site data. Previously, third-party applications could have requested the device’s fixed location data at the initial setup, but the new version of the system removed this ability, Also, when manual tracking is enabled manually in the settings menu, a popup appears periodically to remind users of the configuration and provides an option to turn it off.

However, Apple does not apply these same restrictions to its own apps but rather informs iPhone owners of its location services practices in software user agreements.

“Expected behavior”

When contacting Apple about a potential flaw that conflicts with its privacy policy, the company said: The behavior was expected. She added, “We do not see any actual security implications. It is expected that the location services icon will appear in the status bar when site services are enabled, which is expected behavior. The icon for system services without a key appears in the settings. “

Krebs believes that strange activity may be related to the new iPhone hardware that supports the latest version 6 of the Wi-Fi networks, but this view is still not confirmed. Currently, the only sure way to avoid the phone from communicating with the GPS unit on the iPhone 11 Pro is to disable location services entirely in the settings. However, doing so makes many iPhone features useless.