Apple Maps and Apps: Are They Killing Everyone?

Take a right at the light keep goin' straight until night and then boy you're on your own.
Australian police are warning the people down there to stop using Apple’s terrible maps program, because the app is so worthless that people could easily die if they believe the ridiculous maps have any connection to earthly reality. For example, Apple Maps is telling gullible Australians that an entire city, Mildura, is hidden within a vast and terrible wilderness 44 miles away from the actual city.

Police have received calls from motorists who have been stranded in the park without adequate food and water for as long as 24 hours. The park does not have a water supply, police said. Combined with the fact that temperatures in the park can reach up to 114.8 degrees Fahrenheit, the map error is “a potentially life threatening issue.”

Do people really do this? Follow a map on their iPhone into the middle of nowhere with the expectation that an entire city will suddenly appear if they just keep driving in the direction the phone tells them to go? In Australia, the answer is “of course.”

But how are the Apple Apps hurting Americans? According to the U.S. Federal Trade Commission, our nation’s precious children are being abused by apps that specifically trick dumb kids into giving up personal information. As every parent knows, the best way to keep a child from bothering you is to hand the child an iPad or iPhone. No more annoyance! But while the now-quiet moppet is happily playing Where’s My Perry, sinister corporations are taking whatever they want.

“Most apps failed to provide any information about the data collected through the app, let alone the type of data collected, the purpose of the collection, and who would obtain access to the data,” the F.T.C. report said. “Even more troubling, the results showed that many of the apps shared certain information”—like a device’s phone number, precise location or unique identification code—with third parties, according to the report. More than half of the apps studied were transmitting children’s data, often to marketers.

The lesson is clear: Don’t let kids ever touch your fancy phone or tablet. This is also a good way to keep your device free of the uncountable germs and snot streaks kids leave behind after a game of Tiny Wings, because children are nature’s worst disease vectors.