Steve Jobs On What iPhone Tracks, And What It Doesn’t [Interview]

This story that just won’t go away has once again jumped into the headlines with Apple CEO and co-founder Steve Jobs telling All Things Digital’s Ina Fried that Apple isn’t collecting location data in the way most of the media has claimed over the last week.

In a telephone interview that also included fellow executives Scott Forstall and Phil Schiller, Jobs claimed ‘we haven’t been tracking anyone’.

“We haven’t been tracking anyone,” Jobs said in a telephone interview with Mobilized on Wednesday. “The files they found on these phones, as we explained, it turned out were basically files we have built through anonymous, crowdsourced information that we collect from the tens of millions of iPhones out there.”

The interview was prompted by reports of Apple’s iPhones keeping tabs on their owners’ locations in an unencrypted log file, often going back months. After much uproar and pitchfork-wielding across the internet Apple was forced to make comment yesterday via a lengthy question and answer session.

Now though Jobs appears to want to set the record straight personally. According to his interview with Fried though, Jobs believes the tech industry itself is to blame for the panic.

“As new technology comes into the society there is a period of adjustment and education,” Jobs said. “We haven’t–as an industry–done a very good job educating people, I think, as to some of the more subtle things going on here. As such, (people) jumped to a lot of wrong conclusions in the last week.”

“I think Apple will be testifying,” Jobs said. “They have asked us to come and we will honor their request, of course.”

“Some of them don’t do what we do,” Jobs said. “That’s for sure.”

Apple said yesterday that the next release of iOS 4.3.3 will feature a fix for the logging error, reducing the amount of data cached.

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