Well of course iOS 7 wants to constantly track your location

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iOS 7 has something new in store under its Location Services menu. Tap into it, and you’ll find a System Service called Frequent Locations. It’s doing exactly what you think it would do: keeping tabs on where you go and how often you go there.

Some iOS7 beta users have been caught off guard by its addition, and skeptical types immediately flashed back to the Apple location-tracking fiasco of 2011. Would Apple really implement a feature like this after facing a lawsuit the last time around?

Of course it would. The situation is much different this time around, and it’s not like Apple has much of a choice. There needs to be a response to Google Now (Popular Science’s Innovation of the Year for 2012) in iOS 7, and that would be impossible without gathering GPS data.

Location-aware apps allow our mobile devices to be more useful when we’re not directly interacting with them. Apple’s no doubt got big plans for iOS 7 and Siri, and you can be sure that location will play a very important role. It’s not like Apple is trying to hide what it’s doing, either. iOS7 will show you a nicely-formatted report of where you’ve been, complete with a map and location plots. That kind of transparency is a good thing.

Apple is also clearly trying to avoid another GPS-fueled controversy by providing a dedicated toggle for Frequent Locations. iOS 7 users don’t have to shut off all Location Services just because they don’t want their iPhone or iPad knowing how many times a week they visit the liquor store or pawn shop.

While it’s easy to sound the privacy alarm when something like this gets spotted in software, this time around Apple is doing things the right way… and it’s certainly not doing something its competitors aren’t doing, too.

Now read: 579,001 out of 888,856 iPhone apps are zombies

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