KrebsOnSecurity revealed a story this week, which puzzled over Apple’s response to inquiries regarding leaks of private information in new iPhone 11 terminals, that makes devices randomly seek access to the location even when all application and services were individually set to never ask for such data.
Today, Apple revealed that the peculiar behaviour is linked with the inclusion of short-range technology that allows iPhone 11 users to share files with nearby terminals that also support this feature. A future version of iOS will allow users to toggle the option on or off.
The problem is also linked with Ultra Wideband technology which “provides spatial awareness” that should make iPhones detect their position in correlation with other Ultra Wideband compatible terminals (such as all the new iPhone 11s, alongside the Pro and Pro Max).
Ultra-wideband technology (also known as UWB) is a radio technology that requires little energy for short range, high-bandwidth comms of a great portion of the radio wave spectrum, without taking the use of more traditional means of data transmission.
“So users can do things like share a file with someone using AirDrop simply by pointing at another user’s iPhone,” reads the official statement from Apple.
It turns out that the flashing location indicator is a sign that the device is doing a regular checkup to determine whether it is used in a country where Ultra Wideband isn’t yet approved:
“Ultra Wideband technology is an industry standard technology and is subject to international regulatory requirements that require it to be turned off in certain locations.”
Therefore, there is no security risk, so users should keep calm as Apple will soon fix any sort of imperfection that affects their high spec devices.