Thursday, April 21, 2011

iPhone Secretely Tracks your Whereabouts

Looks like the iOS 4.x updates came with a feature that went unnoticed until now. The iPhone and iPad 3G keeps a record of your whereabouts in an easy accessible file.

Sure, we all know that data is already kept by mobile operators (but inaccessible to a regular person), or using user-selected services like Google Latitude - but in that case you know you're doing it.

In this case, this file of your location (that can have data that goes as far back as a year) can be used by anyone with access to your phone or computer.

I'm sure Apple will claim they have something in their ToS (terms of service) that allow them to keep that historic location data - more so, considering that data is not being sent to Apple or any other 3rd party entity (at least that we know of.)
Anyway, I'm sure this episode will make people aware of what's at risk here, and force companies to be a lot more transparent and clear about this sort of stuff. (Can you imagine the number of husbands and wives that are now tempted to comb through their partners iPhone location log, to see if he/she strayed from the path?)

All it takes is this small program: iPhone Tracker.

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