iPhone in privacy crosshairs (week in review)

This week, Apple's smartphone proved pivotal in helping the company and its partner carriers attain strong quarterly earnings, but was also the target of criticism for keeping a log of its users' whereabouts.

Apple's iPhone took center stage this week for its role in helping the company and its partner carriers attain strong quarterly earnings, but it was also the target of criticism for keeping a log of its users' whereabouts, and is the focus of a new round of patent suits with Samsung.

Privacy concerns surfaced earlier this week when researchers announced that they found what looked like secret files on the iPhone that track user location and store it on the device without the permission of the device owner.

It's still unclear what the data is used for and why Apple has been collecting it in iOS products that carry a 3G antenna for nearly a year now. But CNET put together an FAQ with details on where the data is stored and whether users should be worried. Among those demanding answers is U.S. Rep. Ed Markey, who wrote a letter Apple CEO Steve Jobs seeking an explanation.

Later reporting indicates that not only have law authorities long known about iPhone and iPad tracking logs, they and have used that geolocation data to aid criminal investigations . And they might also be getting the same type of information from Android devices as well.

Play

Meanwhile, the iPhone contributed to yet another blowout financial quarter for Apple and its carrier brethren as well. Apple once again beat expectations, pulling in $24.67 billion in revenue during its most recent quarter. It sold 18.65 million iPhones, 3.76 million Macs, and a less-than-expected 4.69 million iPads

That put Apple ahead of handset giant Nokia in terms of phone revenue. Nokia's earnings this week beat expectations , but it appears challenges await.

Despite the fact that rival Verizon is now selling iPhones, AT&T logged its best-ever first quarter for smartphone sales . Verizon, too, seems to be sharing in the iPhone love, reporting strong growth for wireless subscribers and a healthy start to its iPhone business.
• Report: Apple to begin producing iPhone 5 in July
• Verizon CFO: Future iPhone to be 'global'

More headlines

<b>Apple sues Samsung for 'copying' smartphones, tablets

In what could prove to be a landmark intellectual property case, Apple has sued Samsung for allegedly copying intellectual property in making its own products like smartphones and tablet computers.
&#149;&nbsp;Samsung countersues Apple over patents
• Apple and Samsung's lawsuits in visual form

<b>Supreme Court queries Microsoft on patent law

U.S. Supreme Court questions Microsoft's interpretation of patent law as the company tries to create legal precedent that would make it harder to prove patent infringement.
&#149;&nbsp;Microsoft boosts cash compensation for employees
&#149;&nbsp;Microsoft names new ad chief, reorganizes division
&#149;&nbsp;Microsoft business suite wins federal certification

<b>Obama jabs Republicans at Facebook town hall

The president takes questions from employees and Web participants on topics like the economy, immigration, and health care. He also takes aim at Republicans' deficit reduction plan.
&#149;&nbsp;Startup America gets Microsoft, Google, HP support

<b>Intel profit leaps to $3.2 billion, crushes estimates

Chipmaker posts fourth-quarter net income of $3.2 billion, up 29 percent over the same period last year. Revenue is $12.8 billion, an all-time company record, its CEO says.
&#149;&nbsp;Yahoo earnings: It could be worse

<b>Testing Google's Panda algorithm: CNET analysis

CNET evaluates nearly 100,000 search results to learn which Web sites are the winners and losers after Google's latest changes to its algorithm.
• News sites helped, hurt by Google algorithm change

<b>Apple, Warner Music sign cloud deal

Sources tell CNET that one of the major labels Apple has signed is Warner Music Group, en route to a cloud music service.
&#149;&nbsp;Google talks to Spotify to power music service
&#149;&nbsp;Why Google should acquire Pandora
&#149;&nbsp;Google accused of hypocrisy on Grooveshark ban

<b>EV industry gets ready for bumpy ride

Makers of electric vehicles and their suppliers are ramping up, but few vehicles are actually available, making it tricky to gauge market demand and drive down costs while being profitable.

<b>Amazon cloud outage derails Reddit, Quora

A problem with Amazon Web Services took down some Web sites today. Amazon says it's getting its cloud computing service back to normal.

<b>Apple reportedly rejecting apps with install perks

In a letter to developers, Tapjoy's CEO claims Apple is now rejecting applications that include promotional programs encouraging users to install other applications
&#149;&nbsp;App Store algorithm change said to be categorical
&#149;&nbsp;Report: Apple adjusted top apps ranking criteria

Also of note
&#149;&nbsp;Volkswagen unveils third-generation Beetle
&#149;&nbsp;Amazon unveils overdue Kindle Library Lending
&#149;&nbsp;eBay acquires geolocation service Where
&#149;&nbsp;How YouTube's Coachella Webcast changed the world
&#149;&nbsp;Paul Allen's book an unabashed bid for computing industry credit

 

Join the discussion

Conversation powered by Livefyre

Show Comments Hide Comments
Latest Galleries from CNET