More thoughts on mobile location tracking

by Volker Weber

Alex Levinson posts "3 New Thoughts on Mobile Location - A Follow up to Apple Location Tracking" and has some valuable tips:

  1. Enable Backup Encryption & Use a Lock Passcode
  2. Use Caution Surfing the Web, E-Mailing
  3. Be Careful Modifying Your Device (jailbreak)

Especially the last point is important. Jailbreaks do not necessarily benefit the user.


Especially the last point is wrong. Using a jailbreak, it might be possible to disable it.

Repeat after me: It's my hardware, I can do whatever I want to get the best out of it.

Paul Newman, 2011-04-23

... says the gun owner and shoots himself in the foot.

Volker Weber, 2011-04-23

I am old enough to take my own decisions and act at my own risks. I don't need someone to take care of that.

Paul Newman, 2011-04-23

... says the iPhone user who can read binary installers.

Volker Weber, 2011-04-23

Like "I can act on my own risk and if anything goes wrong I still can sue the vendor for a few million bucks" ... users are stupid and will break anything that can be broken. Jailbreaking is a kind of arrogance saying you know the stuff better than the inventor - I don't think so. Furthermore I'd say that most jailbreakers do only want to get the apps free instead of paying the developers.

Martin Hiegl, 2011-04-23

@Paul. Why do you buy an iphone if you do not like what Apple has developed for it, or arround it?

Wolfram Votteler, 2011-04-23

"Jailbreaking is a kind of arrogance saying you know the stuff better than the inventor - I don't think so."

Ah yes. Because Steve Jobs built all desired functionality in to the iPhone. It was perfect out of the box. There was no need to ever jailbreak anything. In fact, the only reason to ever upgrade was to get new hardware.

@Wolfram - Because you like the hardware, and the quick sales pitch, but after looking under the hood you realize there is a lot more that you could do?

Erik Brooks, 2011-04-24

No, Erik, however if you do not like the functionality or it lacks functionality you are in fact not forced to buy it. It was perfect in the way it was meant to be at this point and that's not only true for iPhones. There was really no need to ever jailbreak anything ... it's pure vanity or as I said often avarice. How many apps have you used without paying?
There's lot of functionality my car lacks or other I don't like (beeping if not belted ^^) ... I would never even think about jailbreaking my car and I know it is possible.

Martin Hiegl, 2011-04-24

This thread is very instructive, as it very clearly shows the arrogance on both sides of the issue.
Sometimes you buy something and then after you have it for a while, you realize it doesn't do everything you want/need it to do. I jailbroke my car by pulling out the original stereo and installing one with nice bluetooth audio, ADSP, HD Radio, etc. And I should be able to do that.

There may be reasons to jailbreak your phone, car, etc. BUT you need to be very careful and know what you are doing. For the vast majority of users, there's really no need to jailbreak the iPhone. Jailbreaking is a risky decision, because you put yourself in the "wild west" where you need to be very very wise and judicious in what you install. Most folks are not wise or judicious.

But let’s be honest here, Apple does not lock down the iPhone in order to protect users. It locks it down in order to protect it’s own control and revenue stream. Any user-protection is a by-product of that goal. You’re living in fantasy land if you believe otherwise.

Craig Wiseman, 2011-04-25

Agreed for the most parts, Craig, although a new stereo is rather using another accessory than jailbreaking. It's like using a supported App in the iPhone or putting headphones on. Ever thought about putting the service DVD in and removing the engine throttlers or digital speed limits, programming a new programm for texting in the menu in front of you and so on? If you do something like this you not only break the law, lose insurance but everyone tells you how stupid that was. Fortunately a jailbroken iPhone does usually not endanger others. However that does not make the move really smarter.

Locking down something is not only staying in control but even more selfprotection for the company. It cost much less to maintain a well defined device and keeps you safe from all those multi-million law suits by wild-west customers that were shot.

Martin Hiegl, 2011-04-25

The ability to use a firewall to stop the leeching might be seen as a compelling argument for jailbreaking.

@Wolfram: you are playing aunt Sally. The question was not whether Paul likes the stuff Apple puts on the iPhone (if he did not, he wouldn't buy it, that is obvious). The question was, why Apple has a more or less functional Unix derived operating system on the iPhone and disallows the use of vital functions (e.g. a firewall or a terminal - something Maemo offers, for example).

The functionality is there, but is limited and taken away from the well versed user, making amends to the inability of most people to handle the complexity of an operating system if given full access. You knew that, of course, when you made your comment.

Armin Roth, 2011-04-26

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