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Thursday, April 21, 2011

Your iPhone is tracking your movements

Since iOS 4 was released, iPhones and 3G iPads have been recording their owner’s movements. At least, that’s what researchers Alasdair Allan and Pete Warden claimed today at the O’Reilly Where 2.0 Conference in Santa Barbara.

It seems that iPhones and iPads record both location and timestamp data in a file named “consolidated.db.” That file is stored both on the iPhone/iPad and on any other device it has been synced with. Further, as the data is stored in an unencrypted and unprotected form it can be read by anybody who has access to the device. To make it even easier to track, the aforementioned researchers have released an application that enables the “consolidated.db” data to be visualized:

There are, however, some obvious privacy concerns as this “feature” will enable anybody – be it a parent, spouse or employer – who can access an iPhone/iPad to establish the movements of the owner of the device.

Apple has yet to respond to the claims.


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