This Day On The Street
Continue to site
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

10 Sleazy Moves by Everyday Companies

Apple wins at hide and seek
Apple (AAPL - Get Report) 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

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Action Alerts PLUS

Portfolio Manager Jim Cramer and Director of Research Jack Mohr reveal their investment tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
Quant Ratings

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
Stocks Under $10

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

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
14-Days Free
Only $9.95
14-Days Free
Dividend Stock Advisor

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
  • Updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Trifecta Stocks

Every recommendation goes through 3 layers of intense scrutiny—quantitative, fundamental and technical analysis—to maximize profit potential and minimize risk.

Product Features:
  • Model Portfolio
  • Intra Day Trade alerts
  • Access to Quant Ratings
Real Money

More than 30 investing pros with skin in the game give you actionable insight and investment ideas.

Product Features:
  • Access to Jim Cramer's daily blog
  • Intraday commentary and news
  • Real-time trading forums
Only $49.95
14-Days Free
14-Days Free
AAPL $93.58 -0.17%
APP $0.01 -26.70%
ANF $27.20 1.80%
BP $33.62 0.13%
BBY $32.28 0.62%


Chart of I:DJI
DOW 17,891.16 +117.52 0.66%
S&P 500 2,082.49 +17.19 0.83%
NASDAQ 4,819.3120 +43.9540 0.92%

Free Reports

Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs