We mentioned back in June that iOS 7 uses location data to incorporate Google Now-style info into the Notification Center. In the latest iOS 7 betas, Apple allows users to see some of their frequently visited places in Settings. This helps the system determine how much traffic will be present when you need to head to your next destination.
With iOS 7, if BuzzFeed’s report is accurate, and nothing in the process has fundamentally change, it’s a feature that has to be enabled by users on setup (allowing the iPhone to use your location has been opt-in for years), and will now also include a user-facing interface so you can actually see what’s been recorded. And that, apparently, might scare people. Not the headlines that make it sound scary, of course, but the non-hidden, still relatively benign, still opt-in and disable-able, user facing feature.
By virtue of location services in iOS 7 always being able to be disabled by the user, the new user-facing-interface showing your location is actually a transparent move by Apple to ensure the user knows what the system is tracking. Of course, this is still an option, not a requirement. However, this feature will improve location-based services in iOS (for the users), and Apple’s data collection is anonymous.