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Report: Apple's Jobs says 'We don't track anyone'

John D. Sutter
Apple's Steve Jobs reportedly dismissed claims that the company is tracking iPhone users.
Apple's Steve Jobs reportedly dismissed claims that the company is tracking iPhone users.
  • MacRumors posts a reported e-mail exchange between an Apple customer and Steve Jobs
  • Jobs reportedly says of Apple, "we don't track anyone"
  • Apple has been catching heat for a secret iPhone file that logs user locations
  • That file doesn't transmit data to Apple, researchers say
  • Apple Inc.
  • Steve Jobs
  • Technology

(CNN) -- Apple's founder reportedly sent a terse response to a customer who complained that the iPhone and iPad are being used to track gadget owners.

"We don't track anyone. The info circulating around is false," wrote Apple CEO Steve Jobs in an e-mail, according to Apple blog MacRumors, which posted the exchange on its site Monday.

The blog says one of its readers sent an e-mail to Jobs with this question:

"Could you please explain the necessity of the passive location-tracking tool embedded in my iPhone? It's kind of unnerving knowing that my exact location is being recorded at all times. Maybe you could shed some light on this for me before I switch to a Droid. They don't track me."

MacRumors says that reader forwarded Jobs' response to its editors.

The authenticity of this e-mail exchange could not be independently verified by CNN, and Apple did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

On the question about Android phones not tracking users, Jobs reportedly wrote, "Oh yes they do."

Apple has been catching international heat since two researchers revealed a secret file that apparently collects data about where iPhone and iPad users go and stores it on those devices and on computers they're synced with.

That data, which is collected via cell phone towers, is not shared with Apple, according to the researchers. Public officials have criticized the company, however, for keeping this data in an unencrypted file.

The Wall Street Journal on Monday reported that iPhones collect this sort of location information even when location services are turned off.

Despite numerous media requests for comment, Apple has yet to issue an official statement on the matter.

Jobs has a history of occasionally responding in person via e-mail to questions from Apple fans.

MacRumors elaborates on this point: "As is Jobs' usual style, his brief comments provide little detail or information to support his claims, and his vagueness leaves things rather open to interpretation."

Jobs announced an indefinite medical leave of absence from Apple on January 17 and has not been working full-time with the company since, although Apple he remains involved in key decisions.


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