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Apple speaks out on iPhone 11 Pro location controversy

Apple has explained why the iPhone 11 Pro appears to be leaking the user’s location data, even when they’d explicitly denied the phone and its apps access.

The official comment comes after a security researcher discovered the iPhone 11 Pro was seeking the location even though individual permissions had been switched off.

Initially, an Apple engineer told the researcher Brian Krebs this was “expected behaviour” that did not constitute a security risk. Now the company has delved deeper on the matter in a statement provided to TechCrunch.

The company said it’s to do with the regulatory requirements that come with the ultra wideband technology sitting within the new handsets.

The statement reads: “Ultra wideband technology is an industry standard technology and is subject to international regulatory requirements that require it to be turned off in certain locations,” an Apple spokesperson told TechCrunch. “iOS uses Location Services to help determine if iPhone is in these prohibited locations in order to disable ultra wideband and comply with regulations.”

“The management of ultra wideband compliance and its use of location data is done entirely on the device and Apple is not collecting user location data,” the spokesperson said.

Related: Best iPhone 2019

The new iPhone 11 Pro range features the new U1 chip features spatial awareness abilities that enable users to share airdrop files just by pointing the iPhone at the other person. We’re also expecting that the U1 chip will power the forthcoming Tile-rival Apple Tag trackers.

The company is not making any changes and is adamant that the phone is only seeking the location to ensure the wide-band is not in use in restricted areas.

However, as Krebs points out, this seems to contravene Apple’s own privacy policy, which states: “You can also disable location-based system services by tapping on System Services and turning off each location-based system service.”

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