Earlier this week, a researcher determined that the iPhone 11 Pro intermittently attempts to collect users’ location data, despite system settings.
Apple has now explained the ultra wideband technology that comes with new iPhones is why the devices appear to share location data even if the setting is disabled. The device needs to verify that the user is in a location where ultra wideband is allowed.
“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,” an Apple spokesperson told TechCrunch.
Ultra wideband technology gives newer phones spatial awareness to determine where other ultra wideband devices are located. This technology is used to share files through AirDrop.
“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,” the spokesperson explained.
TechCrunch notes that Apple’s delayed response to the matter made the situation a much bigger issue than it had to be.