*Update: Apple will be rolling out iOS 13.3 to fix this issue, along with adding new parental controls. Apple claims the background location checks are due to their Ultra wideband chip.
Apple’s newest release, the iPhone 11 Pro, has customers questioning the behavior of the device. You have probably heard someone say they think their phone or apps are tracking their location. Well, it turns out they may have been right all along. A recent discovery suggests that even when the iPhone 11 Pro is set to never request the phone’s location, it still will. Along with hackers and other types of threats, this adds to the list of major concerns for Apple customers.
KrebsOnSecurity recently discovered that some system-based services would continue to access your location even when location services were not enabled. To test this, Brian Kreb’s used the latest update on the iPhone 11 Pro (iOS 13). He was able to discover this by looking for the location services icon at the top of the screen. He used an older iPhone and also disabled each of the location-based services, but was not able to replicate the same behavior on the older device running on iOS 13.
Many people have reported the same issue with their iPhone 11 Pro. Krebs reached out to Apple, telling them about the potential privacy vulnerability in the iPhone 11 Pro using iOS 13.
What Apple Had To Say
“If Location Services is on, your iPhone will periodically send the geo-tagged locations of nearby Wi-Fi hotspots and cell towers (where supported by a device) in an anonymous and encrypted form to Apple, to be used for augmenting this crowd-sourced database of Wi-Fi hotspot and cell tower locations.”
The policy also states that, by accessing Settings > Privacy > Location Services, then switching “Location Services” to “off” the location services indicator — a small arrow icon next to the battery icon — will no longer appear.
It continues to say, “You can also disable location-based system services by tapping on System Services and turning off each location-based system service.”