Apple denies tracking location of iPhones

Apple denied tracking the location of iPhones and said on Monday a bug is responsible for the devices storing up to a year's worth of location data.

The tech giant posted a Q & A in response to recent reports that both the iPhone and phones running the Android mobile operating system have been storing and sending unencrypted data on user locations back to Apple and Google, respectively.

"Apple is not tracking the location of your iPhone. Apple has never done so and has no plans to ever do so," the firm said.

Apple claims the location file uncovered on the latest version of its mobile iOS is not a list of the phone's location, but rather a database of cell towers and WiFi hotspots around user's current location used to help the phone calculate its location when requested.

"We plan to cease backing up this cache in a software update coming soon," Apple said. "This data is sent to Apple in an anonymous and encrypted form. Apple cannot identify the source of this data."

The update will resolve the issue of the phones storing up to a year's worth of location data, which Apple attributed to a bug in its mobile platform.

"The reason the iPhone stores so much data is a bug we uncovered and plan to fix shortly. We don’t think the iPhone needs to store more than seven days of this data."

The update will also stop the location data from being backed up when the phones are synced to computers and will delete the data completely when a user chooses to turn location data off. The file will be encrypted after the update as well.