Location based services have taken over the cellular market in the last several years and now Apple has decided that your location information may be worth a bunch of cash. Apple changed their company license today to state that they now store “the real-time geographic location of your Apple computer or device” and that they have the right to share it with “partners and licensees.”
Apple is working to calm customer fears, claiming that all location based data is “collected anonymously in a form that does not personally identify you.” It’s a statement that should seem familiar to Facebook users who were told the same thing months ago, only to find out that their profile information and the profile information of their friends were being shared with advertisers.
Unlike Facebook, there is apparently no way to opt-out of the Apple policy. Actually that’s not totally true, you can refuse to ever download another app for the life of your device and then stay away from the iTunes store, at which point you aren’t forced to agree to the companies new terms of service before proceeding with purchases.
“To provide location-based services on Apple products, Apple and our partners and licensees may collect, use, and share precise location data, including the real-time geographic location of your Apple computer or device. This location data is collected anonymously in a form that does not personally identify you and is used by Apple and our partners and licensees to provide and improve location-based products and services. For example, we may share geographic location with application providers when you opt in to their location services.
Some location-based services offered by Apple, such as the MobileMe “Find My iPhone” feature, require your personal information for the feature to work.”
What are your thoughts about a non-opt out service? I’m not a big iPhone fan and this adds fuel to my indifference fire, personally I don’t believe I should have to share my personal information with Apple clients if I’m not using their services at that exact moment. The GAP doesn’t know what I’m doing when I’m not in their store, either should various Apple clients.