Apple defends its snooping and attempts rare distraction

In one of the more bizarre PR  distraction techniques we have seen for a while, Jobs’ Mob has officially announced the release date of its white iPhone 4.

Apple has been in the news a lot lately with fanboys defending Jobs’ Mob’s decision to spy on their every movement.

While the outfit has been justifiably vilified for holding onto up to a year’s worth of personal data in an unencrypted file, Apple has been characteristically silent.

Today, the Apple press office made some announcements. The first was to admit it cocked up big time over the whole spying thing.

Apparently there was a “fault” in the software which meant that the data was kept for longer than it needed to be.

Yep, it looks like Apple has finally had to admit that its software was less than perfect. In fact in comparison to Android, it was decidedly dodgy.

Apple insists however that it was not tracking its followers.

Instead it was logging the locations of Wi-Fi hot spots and cell phone towers that are close to the iPhone and is maintaining a database in an attempt to improve location-based services.

Funny, that is what Android does, but it does not need to keep the data for a year.

Nevertheless Apple said that it cannot track individual users with the location information that is sent to the company because it is sent to Apple in “an anonymous and encrypted form”.

What is the point of sending yourself users data in an encrypted format? Apple must have the keys and can open the data so it is not encrypted when Apple gets it.

Apple has never tracked users and has no plans to ever do so, the FAQ says. So the patent that Apple took out last year to track users was just a paper exercise.

It does seem that Apple wants you to trust it. But trust is something that you do not earn by gathering a person’s details and storing it without telling them.

Apple admitted that the phone “might” be storing too much information about users’ location. And it said it will soon fix this in a software release.

“The reason the iPhone stores so much data is a bug we uncovered and plan to fix shortly,” the FAQ says. “We don’t think the iPhone needs to store more than seven days of this data.”

Apple also admitted that users should be able to turn off the location logging feature on their phone when they disable location services. Another one of those bug things has also prevented this. That is a really buggy application you have there, Apple.

Apple said it plans to release a software update in the next few weeks in a desperate attempt to stop it being fined by regulators world-wide, or, er, to fix the bugs.

But the White iPhone, which we have described as Apple’s Duke Nukem Forever, has been announced on the same day Apple released its snooping FAQ, and is probably the lamest distraction we have ever seen.

Of course the white iPhone 4 will spy on you just as much as the black one, and it will still need a rubber band to work.