Apple addresses data privacy issue on iPhone 11 in new beta

Apple has moved quickly to address concerns about location data tracking on the iPhone 11 after rolling out a new beta that features a toggle system in the settings menu.

Apple was criticised in December after the standard iPhone 11 and premium iPhone 11 Pro models were found to be collecting location data regardless of whether users gave permission or not on an app-by-app basis.

At the time, security researcher Brian Krebs noted: “Apparently there are some system services on this model (and possibly other iPhone 11 models) which request location data and cannot be disabled by users without completely turning off location services.”

Krebs noted that the issue was only present on newer flagship models and not the older iPhone 8 or 7, for example.

He believes that this may be due to newer hardware installed in the iPhone 11 to support a higher standard of Wi-Fi.

Apple has pushed security and data privacy as one of its core tenets in recent years at a time when rival Google has been heavily criticised for its data collection practices.

Apple is now testing a new data option in the iOS 13.3.1 beta, which rolled out last week.

The new toggle system allows users to disable Ultra Wideband entirely, which suggests that Krebs’ claim that a new chip to blame was actually correct.

Ultra Wideband is subject to different regulations in certain regions in regard to the collection of data, so that appears to have caused the problem.

However, Apple says that location tracking was an on-device feature and thus data would have been extremely difficult for any third party to access.

The Ultra Wideband toggle remains in beta for now, but it is likely to feature in a software update for the iPhone 11 family of phones in the near future.

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