Apple says ultra wideband tech culprit behind location data sharing; to issue fix

If what happens on your iPhone doesn’t stay on your iPhone after all, ultra wideband (UWB) technology is the culprit, according to Apple.

After the Apple iPhone 11 Pro was discovered to still be sending out user location data even after Location Services was disabled, the company has finally pinned the contradiction of its privacy policy on the international regulatory requirements that require the industry standard technology “to be turned off in certain locations,” according to an Apple spokesperson.

“iOS uses Location Services to help determine if an iPhone is in these prohibited locations in order to disable ultra wideband and comply with regulations,” the spokesperson told TechCrunch. “The management of ultra wideband compliance and its use of location data is done entirely on the device and Apple is not collecting user location data.”

When queried by KrebsonSecurity, an Apple engineer initially said the company didn’t “see any actual security implications when Location Services continues to work “for system services that do not have a switch in Settings.”

But now the company explains that ultra wideband technology provides “spatial awareness” that allows users to share files with other nearby users through apps like AirDrop.

Apple said it will issue an update that includes a dedicated toggle that will shut off UWB technology and the resultant location tracking.

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