Apple has posted a Q&A on location data that seeks to quell the anxiety a lot of iPhone owners–and government officials–have expressed over the iPhone logging and storing users’ location data. According to this press release, the company promises to cease backing up iPhone location cache with an upcoming software update, which will also limit the amount of location data stored to seven days. If you turn Location Services off, the cache will be deleted entirely.
The Q&A starts off by re-iterating that Apple is not tracking the location of iPhones. Instead, the company says it’s maintaining a database of Wi-Fi hotspots and cell towers around the location of users. This plugs into a crowd-sourced database that gets downloaded to the iPhone to help Apple more rapidly pinpoint your location. In the next major iOS release–we’re assuming iOS 5–Apple says the cache will be encrypted on the iPhone.