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HomeOff Topics News & Politics › iPhone Secretly Tracks and Reports Where You Go
04-21-2011 12:08 AM  7 years agoPost 1
albatross

rrApprentice

Texas, Houston area

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Christina Warren
Mashable
April 20, 2011

Two security researchers have discovered that Apple’s iPhone keeps track of a user’s location and saves that information to a file that is stored both on the device and on a user’s computer when they sync or back it up in iTunes.

The researchers, Pete Warden and Alasdair Allan, discovered the hidden file while collaborating on a potential data visualization project. “At first we weren’t sure how much data was there, but after we dug further and visualised the extracted data, it became clear that there was a scary amount of detail on our movements,” Warden told The Guardian.

You can watch Allan and Warden’s discussion about the data and how it can be surfaced in this video:

Watch at YouTube

http://www.foxnews.com/scitech/2011...ation-tracking/

AP

A new era dawns: Steve Jobs unveils the first iPhone in January 2007.
Security researchers have discovered that the latest operating system powering the iPhone and iPad keeps a log of everywhere you go, recording both the location and time you were there.

The feature has been around since June 2010, meaning some iPhones have nearly a year of location history recorded in a single file -- every step, trip to the park, family vacation and more. And that, said security experts Alasdair Allan and Pete Warden, who uncovered the file, poses serious problems.

"It became clear that there was a scary amount of detail on our movements [in the iPhone]," they noted in a post on their website.

"By passively logging your location without your permission, Apple has made it possible for anyone from a jealous spouse to a private investigator to get a detailed picture of your movements."

Apple did not respond to calls or e-mails for comment from FoxNews.com.

Related Links
HTC Thunderbolt Rivals Apple iPhone 4 in Smartphone Wars
Apple to Ship New iPhone in September, Sources Say
RIM's Blackberry PlayBook Hits North American Shelves
BlackBerry PlayBook's Poor First ImpressionThe two British programmers accidentally discovered the iPhone feature -- some would call it a bug -- when they were making software based on user locations. And digital privacy consultant Frank M. Ahearn says he has seen the problems caused by such lack of privacy first-hand.

"It's a scary world," Ahearn told FoxNews.com. "I've worked with clients where, for instance, a woman started realizing that her husband knew lots things he just shouldn't have known … eventually we figured out that he could tell where she was based on her phone's GPS."

Not all cell phones track the same information, though the exact details of what's being tracked are unclear. Microsoft told tech bloggers at Gizmodo that only the last location is stored on Windows Phone 7-powered devices, to support the Find My Phone feature. Google refused to tell whether Android-powered smartphones store location information in a similar fashion -- though Android phones do allow a user to opt out of location collection.

Who would use such information? Employers are starting to trace employees using company-issued cell phones, Ahearn said. It was not clear why Apple was recording the information or how the company would use it, if at all.

But the iPhone feature could be good news for police. According to the ACLU, Michigan police are currently using a device called the Cellebrite UFED during traffic pull-overs. It can grab all the data out of a phone within minutes.

The company that sells the Cellebrite UFED advertises it to law enforcement: "Get the evidence you need -- immediately."

The company's website goes on to note: "Easy to use in both the field and in lab environments, UFED extracts vital data such as phonebook, pictures, videos, text messages, call logs … it then gathers the data into reports for research and evidence."

But the ACLU argues that the use of the device by police officers during traffic stops would be illegal, and is attempting to obtain Internal records on exactly how the department uses the devices.

"[The devices] allow them to extract information from cell phones without a warrant," Kary Moss, Executive Director of the Michigan ACLU, said.

"The U.S. Constitution acknowledges that people who are not suspected of a certain crime have certain rights -- police have to obtain a search warrant."

A spokesman for the Michigan State Police said that they were drafting a statement on their use of the devices, but it was not ready by Wednesday evening.

But to the matter at hand: What can you do if you want to ensure your data is safe?

Ahearn says the simplest method is just not to use a fancy phone. As of now there is no known way to stop an iPhone with OS 4 from logging locations.

...my handle backwards is how I feel about current world affairs...

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04-21-2011 12:20 AM  7 years agoPost 2
PsychoZ

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Northern, CA

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If people read the contract when they signed up for an iPhone they would have known that they gave their permission to be tracked, it is in the contract.

Tea Parties are for little girls with imaginary friends

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04-21-2011 12:52 AM  7 years agoPost 3
GyroFreak

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Orlando Florida ...28N 81W

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I use Wavesecure to track my droid, and to lock it off if lost or stolen. Not the same but I wouldn't care if my phone was logging it's where abouts. Your car gps is doing it all the time for track back.

I think about the hereafter. I go somewhere to get something, then wonder what I'm here after ?

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04-21-2011 03:43 AM  7 years agoPost 4
RayJayJohnsonJr

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Midwest

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You can track ANY cell phone here.
http://www.themobiletracker.com/english/index.html

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04-21-2011 08:49 AM  7 years agoPost 5
TrexRookie

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San Francisco, CA

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lol RayJay

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04-21-2011 06:18 PM  7 years agoPost 6
RayJayJohnsonJr

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Midwest

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04-21-2011 06:26 PM  7 years agoPost 7
Dennis (RIP)

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Oregon

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Any iPhone user that thinks they are so important that Steve Jobs himself needs to track their where abouts at all times needs to tone down what they think of themselves a bit.

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04-22-2011 12:18 AM  7 years agoPost 8
GyroFreak

rrProfessor

Orlando Florida ...28N 81W

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Dang RayJay, I put in my cell number and how did it get down to that resolution ? I am so embarrassed. My girl friend went home crying.

I think about the hereafter. I go somewhere to get something, then wonder what I'm here after ?

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04-27-2011 12:30 AM  7 years agoPost 9
TrexRookie

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San Francisco, CA

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Any iPhone user that thinks they are so important that Steve Jobs himself needs to track their where abouts at all times needs to tone down what they think of themselves a bit.
You'd be surprised what companies pay for peoples' various habits... Why do you think supermarkets have discount cards? Those cards keep track of what you buy and how often you buy them. They also tell stores things like price elasticity. I can almost guarantee that some company out there, if not multiple companies, are paying good money for this kind of data. Now this data may or may not be anonymous... but someone's using it...

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04-27-2011 04:03 AM  7 years agoPost 10
helo_chris

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goodlettsville, tn

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Not to say people shouldn't be asking questions about what the data is being used for, but it isn't and has never been a secret that Apple was collecting this data. There are even apps that use the information.

http://forums.macrumors.com/archive...p/t-520502.html

http://kelsocartography.com/blog/?p=599

"There is a fine line between cutting edge and bleeding edge.."

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04-27-2011 04:27 AM  7 years agoPost 11
Dennis (RIP)

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Oregon

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You'd be surprised what companies pay for peoples' various habits... Why do you think supermarkets have discount cards? Those cards keep track of what you buy and how often you buy them. They also tell stores things like price elasticity. I can almost guarantee that some company out there, if not multiple companies, are paying good money for this kind of data. Now this data may or may not be anonymous... but someone's using it...
Well then. Now that the info is out there, and if you have any reason to think your location is being tracked by others and you have issues with that, then don't purchase and use a smart phone.

Speaking for myself, I could care less. Track me all you want. I'm keepin my iPhone. Best cell phone I have ever had.

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04-27-2011 08:49 AM  7 years agoPost 12
sks

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london

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^^ can you get God on it - or is there an app for that?

I think the forestry department wants to track you Dennis, they got to make sure they're darting the right raccoon. Wouldn't want a case of mistaken identity now, would we?

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04-27-2011 10:44 AM  7 years agoPost 13
Heliguychris

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Perth, West Australia

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I just dont like the idea that someone can turn a dollar on me, without not only my consent, but also my knowlege. And yes, im the guy that sprays your kids with the hose, when they try and fill up my letterbox with the crap pamphlets, they get paid 10c a pop to deliver......

Purely legal, and i giggle my a$$ off.

They give ya dumbest looks, when i ask em for my cut You making a buck, on my very expensive home pal, wheres my cut ? No cut?, than cop a bit of the hose

Licensed (CASA) UAV operator certificate holder 1-YFOF5-01 www.helicamaerial.com.au

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