iPhone 'kill switch' limited to location-aware apps

A report Friday suggests that the furor over the discovery of a "blacklist" inside the iPhone's OS might have been a bit premature, since the URL only "blacklists" certain applications.

Apple's "blacklist" inside the iPhone's operating system just pertains to a specific technology, according to a report. CNET

Apple's iPhone blacklist appears to fall short of fears that it led directly back to a big red button on Apple CEO Steve Jobs' desk.

Daring Fireball's John Gruber took a deep breath Thursday while Internet users frantically searched for their copies of 1984 following Jonathan Zdziarski's discovery of a URL inside the iPhone's operating system that downloads a list of applications designated as malicious. Some feared this would allow Apple to blacklist any application that ran afoul of its sensibilities.

Gruber spoke with what he called an "informed source" at Apple who confirmed that the discovery of that URL inside the iPhone's Core Location API was no coincidence. Code inside the URL indicates that the "blacklist" would be used to wall-off rogue applications from the Core Location API, rather than Apple using it as a "kill switch," according to his source.

Core Location is the API that allows software developers to access the location-aware features of the iPhone. According to Gruber, Apple has laid out strict policies for accessing the Core Location API over privacy concerns: malicious or sloppy software that gives away the position of your iPhone is not something that would appeal to customers.

In related news, the price of tin foil plunged Friday morning.

About the author

    Tom Krazit writes about the ever-expanding world of Google, as the most prominent company on the Internet defends its search juggernaut while expanding into nearly anything it thinks possible. He has previously written about Apple, the traditional PC industry, and chip companies. E-mail Tom.

     

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