The recent row over Apple's handling of location data has prompted analysts and watchdogs to call on vendors to be clear when communicating policies for the retention of user data on mobile devices.
Apple has addressed recent reports that the iOS platform is maintaining an archive of user locations on mobile devices and the computers with which they are synchronised.
In the statement, Apple claimed that it was not harvesting location data per se, but rather collecting Wi-Fi and mobile cellular tower data to speed up location-placement tools.
The company said that any retention of information beyond seven days was due to a software bug, which it will soon fix in a software update.
However, analysts believe that Apple will need to do more to clarify its policies on data retention and location features.
Gartner analyst Ian Glazer suggested that much of the problem can be attributed to customer confusion owing to Apple's inability to properly communicate.
"Apple and other devices vendors should take this opportunity to educate consumers globally about device location and other privacy matters," Glazer wrote in a blog post.
"However, Apple and other device vendors must go further and connect this education to the choices these devices afford users."
Ovum analyst Andy Kellett argued that firms like Apple and Google should be more upfront about any technologies which may affect user privacy, heading off any concerns by promoting their benefits.
"The one thing all commercial organisations are good at is collecting data, but they're not very good at managing it and they're pretty useless at protecting it sometimes," he said.
"In many ways the problems we're getting at the moment are because these organisations collect data, hold it for longer than they need to and potentially create extra vulnerabilities for themselves."
However, some commentators argue that the issue goes beyond an honest mistake on the part of mobile carriers.
Electronic Frontier Foundation senior staff technologist Peter Eckersley pointed to a patent filing from Apple which may contradict the company's statements.
"It's interesting that Apple described the extensive retention of location data as a bug, but also filed for a patent that specified only deleting portions of the history once the database was full," Eckersley told V3.co.uk.
Farhan Mirza, principal at consultancy AT Kearney, argued that it ultimately comes down to an issue of trust.
"Do you trust Apple to not misuse this data? Apple positions itself as the consumers' friend, yet its 'closed' operations and mass appeal often make it vulnerable to such suspicion," he said.
"Some of the changes to its plans on data retention and encryption should go a long way to alleviate these concerns."
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