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iPhone Switch-killer: a little clarity

Jonathan Zdziarksy, author of some volumes on iPhone programming and discoverer of the phantom system that would allow Apple to remove "dangerous" or unwanted applications without the user's knowledge, tries to clarify the switch issue -killer.

Zdziarksy has been in recent days subdued by e-mails and requests for clarification from pseudo-journalists who have understood little or nothing about the presence of the remote app-killer wanted by Apple, and has compiled a list of "myths" and the their effective authenticity:

– The iPhone spies on its users: FALSE. – The switch has been implemented to prevent the operation of NetShare: FALSE. – The switch can delete applications remotely: FALSE – Apple can know the geographical position (via GPS) of its users: FALSE.? The switch allows you to stop the execution of spyware or applications considered potentially dangerous by Apple: TRUE.

Technically speaking, the cache folder located in / var / root / Library / Caches / locationd / contains a list of unauthorized applications taken from an Apple server when activating the GPS fixing of the device. It is just a simple list. Contrary to what has been stated by various Italian newspapers, no list of applications and personal data is sent. The "black list" does not offer Apple the possibility to control the iPhone (as someone has said incredibly), to spy on it in its movements or to listen to its conversations, but it allows to know a list of potentially harmful software for the iPhone itself or for user privacy.

As reported by the Wall Street Journal, Steve Jobs confirmed the presence of the switch by stating that he "hopes never to use it" and that it would have been irresponsible not to take precautions on such a security system.

The mechanism in question does not delve into our privacy and does not give access to personal data. The system reads a blacklist of applications from the address https://iphone-services.apple.com/clbl/unauthorizedApps, blocking any software that may behave incorrectly and read / send personal data. The "CLB" string in the url above probably stands for "Core Location Blacklist", the confidential and protected API that software should never access.

It is not yet clear how the switch can act, but what seems to emerge to those who want to seriously investigate and do real journalism that we can certainly not speak of "Apple that violates privacy" or "Apple spies" like many newspapers and TG of our country would like to believe.

Apple recently removed two applications from the store: I?m Rich and NetShare; those who purchased the two applications, however, did not have them uninstalled automatically from the phone without notice. Those who bought them at the time can continue to start them without problems. The switch, therefore, would seem an extreme mechanism that Apple reserves itself in case some application should come out that starts doing malicious operations with the phone or with the data present in it.

No Big Brother then, but – as too often happens in our country – conjectures, assumptions and inferences that leave the time they find …

(By Mauro Notarianni)