Conspiracy buffs can breath a bit easier — news of an Apple blacklist that could remotely disable rogue iPhone apps isn’t 100% accurate.
On Thursday, Jonathan Zdziarski — who’s got two books out delving deeper into (read: hacking) the iPhone OS — reported preliminary evidence that a configuration file tucked deep into Core Location gave the iPhone the ability to "call home" periodically, find out if it had any unauthorized apps installed, and then have them deactivated. Even apps the user has already paid for.
In a way, this almost makes sense: when the App Store was unveiled in March, Apple’s emphasis on DRM-based security (and Steve Jobs’ declaration that they could and should "turn off the spigot" and revoke programs that didn’t meet Apple’s standards) had many wondering if the House of Jobs could reach out and "death-touch" something.
But as it turns out, a long-distance kill switch is (for the moment) not in the cards. The hidden code actually refers to a "Core Location Blacklist," which is simply a list of apps not allowed to access Core Location. Making it more of a watch dog than an attack dog…