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iPhone tracks users' movements

Black Rose

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Apple iPhones and 3G iPads are secretly recording and storing details of all their owners' movements, researchers claim.


Location data is kept in a hidden, unencrypted file according to security experts Alasdair Allan and Pete Warden.


With the right software, it can be used to map exactly where a person has been.


Apple has yet to comment on the revelation, however there is no suggestion that it has been uploading or using the information.


The findings, first reported by the Guardian newspaper, will come as a surprise to most iPhone users, as their devices do not give any visual indication that such data is being recorded.


However, although the practice is not explicitly flagged-up, it appears to be covered in the company's terms of use.


"We may collect information such as occupation, language, zip code, area code, unique device identifier, location, and the time zone where an Apple product is used so that we can better understand customer behaviour and improve our products, services, and advertising"


Clearly intentional


Writing on the technology website O'Reilly Radar, Mr Allan and Mr Warden said they did not know why iPhones and iPads were collecting location information but it was "clearly intentional".


The men claim that the facility to record users' positions was added with the iOS4 software update, released in June 2010.


The data is also transferred to the owner's computer and stored in a file there each time the two devices are connected to carry out a back-up or synchronisation.


Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant at security firm Sophos, told BBC News that it was unlikely Apple planned to use the information for commercial purposes.


"I think there are some legitimate privacy concerns and people will probably look for a way of obscuring that data," he said.


"But it is an object lesson about reading the terms and conditions," he added.




So I just steal someone's iPhone, break though the piss-easy security and I can find out where their home is & what time they normally get there.

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So I just steal someone's iPhone, break though the piss-easy security and I can find out where their home is & what time they normally get there.
Match that against the things people say on Twitter and Facebook and you'll know when someone's on holiday or is about to set off. A burglar's paradise!
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  • 2 weeks later...

And look who wrote it! :lol:


I'm using Android so Google has all my data and I don't want to think about what they do with it... :uhoh: :thinking:

But this looks promising for iPhone owners:


Apple corrects location tracking 'bug' with IOS 4.3.3

Still tracks fanbois, just not as much

By Chris Martin

Thu May 05 2011, 10:40


MAKER OF SHINY TOYS Apple has released version 4.3.3 of IOS for Iphones, Ipads and Ipod Touch devices to correct tracking issues.


Apple has released IOS 4.3.3 for owners of its Ithings to fix what it has called a location tracking 'bug'. The new version reduces the size of the cache, no longer backs up the cache to Itunes and deletes the cache entirely when location services are turned off.


This release follows the discovery that Apple products were tracking user's locations without their knowledge or permission. Researchers discovered that the devices were recording the longitude and latitude of the device with a time stamp.


They also found out that the location tracking data stretched back as far as a year and seemed to start with the update to IOS 4. What's more, the data was stored unencrypted and backed up to the user's computer when synchronised with Itunes.


Now with IOS 4.3.3 the cache is no longer backed up to Itunes and Apple mobile devices won't log a year's worth of data. Supposedly now Apple's Idevices will store only a week of location data.


Apple had said that its products were not logging user's locations but instead were simply collecting a database of WiFi hotspots and cellphone towers near the device. It said, "This data is sent to Apple in an anonymous and encrypted form. Apple cannot identify the source of this data."


The fruit themed company did admit that a bug meant the device would still continue to send WiFi and cell tower data even if location services were turned off. This appears to have been sorted out by the latest IOS update.


Although they might seem small, these three changes to IOS might make Igadget owners happier about the situation, giving them more control over the data stored on the device and therefore, some peace of mind.



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That patch might stop Apple tracking you so much, but it won't stop the government tracking you, they track every phone logging it's movements, randomly listening into conversations, all in the name of national security.

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