Apple has confirmed that it plans to add a new option in iOS settings to allow iPhone 11 owners to completely disable and block location services on their devices.
As we reported the other day, Apple’s iPhone 11 Pro was caught using location services despite these being individually disabled for all apps and system services in iOS settings, so you can imagine that this raise a lot of concerns about the level of privacy Apple offers for its devices.
Of course, this applies to the entire iPhone 11 line up, not only the iPhone 11 Pro, and Apple has explained to TechCrunch that this is done by design as the new iPhone 11 devices come with ultra wideband chips, so they perform regular location checks to determine if they can use them or not, legally speaking.
“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.”
No need to panic, kill switch is coming
iPhone 11 owners do not need to panic over unauthorised location services use by their devices, said Apple, which explained to TechCrunch that the management of ultra wideband compliance is done entirely on the device without anything being sent to Apple. The company confirmed that they’re not collecting user location data.
However, to make everyone happy, Apple said that they plan to implement a toggle in iOS settings that would allow iPhone 11 users to completely disable and block the use of location tracking if they choose so. The kill switch will be available in an upcoming iOS 13 software update.