Apple's flagship smartphone, the iPhone 11 Pro, might have an issue with user location data security, according to reports this week.
The issue essentially boils down to a loophole that Apple appears to have potentially built for itself when it comes to receiving location data from people's iPhone 11 Pros. The phone's privacy policies explain that the iPhone 11 Pro will intermittently send encrypted data about nearby Wi-Fi and cellular towers to Apple for database use.
It also says that users can control the extent of this data sharing by using its Settings app to disable location services for individual apps.
That's not an issue on its own. However, Apple has also been pushing privacy settings as a major benefit of its new iPhones, and as a reason to use its newest version of iOS. On iOS 13 users are frequently prompted to review their location settings as apps request access to that data.
Cybersecurity website Krebs on Security, though, this week reported that these data packets flying off to Apple seem to be something that users cannot turn off entirely, even if they think they have. It instructed every app on its iPhone 11 Pro to stop sending any location data, but found that the phone still displayed signs that it was sending information every so often.
It's unclear for now exactly which handsets this set of circumstances is limited to working on, but Apple's response to the story said that it does "not see any security implications", and that the location services icon that gives the game away can appear for services that users cannot control in the Settings app.
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