This Day On The Street
Continue to site right-arrow
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
Stocks Under $10 with 50-100% upside potential - 14 days FREE!

10 Sleazy Moves by Everyday Companies

Apple wins at hide and seek
Apple (AAPL) Apple has always had a stellar reputation among a fan base that thinks it can do no wrong. Its Teflon coating may be starting to wear off.

OK, consumers seemed pretty willing to forgive and forget when a verifiable antenna problem on the iPhone 4 was cavalierly dismissed by CEO Steve Jobs. "You're holding it wrong," he told users.

The latest brouhaha probably won't be so easy to brush off with a terse email "sent from my iPad."

By now you have probably heard that iPhones have a sneaky little file that periodically logs and time-stamps your location. While true a wide range of apps function via location-based services, they typically require the user to agree to share information. Apple's file -- "protected but not encrypted," it says -- is transmitted to the company and backed up in iTunes whenever you back up your iPhone.

Amid Congressional scrutiny, consumer paranoia and conspiracy theorists taking a break from looking for Photoshop layers in President Barack Obama's birth certificate, Apple had some explaining to do.

"Apple is not tracking the location of your iPhone," it offered in an official statement. "Apple has never done so and has no plans to ever do so."

The reason everyone is so worked up? The answer is a slightly less snarky variation of "you're holding it wrong" that could be phrased as: These pesky users just don't get it.

"Providing mobile users with fast and accurate location information while preserving their security and privacy has raised some very complex technical issues which are hard to communicate in a soundbite," Apple wrote. "Users are confused, partly because the creators of this new technology (including Apple) have not provided enough education about these issues to date."

Why they are doing this? Apple says it is mainly to help map out Wi-Fi hotspots and cell towers to "help your iPhone rapidly and accurately calculate its location when requested."

Apple does say the data is anonymous, but notes, "Our iAds advertising system can use location as a factor in targeting ads."

Third-party apps do need your permission to triangulate where you are, and an upcoming OS upgrade will stop backing up this cache and delete it when Location Services is turned off.

Fair enough, perhaps. And yeah, sure, users may have overreacted or had false expectations of online anonymity.

But still, should Apple really be acting shocked and put upon just because it has the ability to track of your daily life by time and location? To many, it's a scary proposition, a dangerous precedent and an i-Invasion of i-Privacy.

4 of 11

Select the service that is right for you!

Action Alerts PLUS
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
  • Weekly roundups
TheStreet Quant Ratings
Try it NOW
Only $49.95/yr

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
  • Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Stocks Under $10
Try it NOW

David Peltier, uncovers low dollar stocks with extraordinary upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
  • Weekly roundups
Dividend Stock Advisor
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
  • Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Real Money Pro
Try it NOW

All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.

Product Features:
  • Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
  • Intraday commentary & news
  • Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Options Profits
Try it NOW

Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • 100+ monthly options trading ideas
  • Actionable options commentary & news
  • Real-time trading community
  • Options TV
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!


DOW 17,804.80 +26.65 0.15%
S&P 500 2,070.65 +9.42 0.46%
NASDAQ 4,765.38 +16.9840 0.36%

Brokerage Partners

Rates from

  • Mortgage
  • Credit Cards
  • Auto

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs