2011
04.20

Your iPhone Is Tracking You

It turns out the iPhone may be a little sneakier than you thought. According to security researchers, the phone keeps track of everywhere you go, and it then saves the information in a file on the iPhone and on the owner’s computer when the two are synced.

This story was first reported by The Guardian (read the original story by clicking here), and it is now sweeping through across the Internet. In the story, the researchers claim the data files stored by the phone record the device’s latitude and longitude along with a timestamp. They also say the recording seems to have begun with Apple’s iOS 4 update, which was released in June 2010. Using a simple computer program, anyone who gained access to the phone would be able to find out where the device had been.

Many people are upset, claiming this is a huge breach in security, and I have to agree. It would be one thing if iPhone users knew this was happening and had a way to disable it, but they don’t. As a recent convert to the iPhone, I feel a little uneasy about the possibility of someone possibly stealing or finding my device and knowing my every move. And yet, I’m not as worried about it as I feel like I should be. I think I have learned to accept that I’m tracked everywhere I go, whether it’s by my phone, my credit card use, or cameras in public places.

I wasn’t even that surprised to find out my iPhone is likely storing all my location information. My reaction was more like, “Oh, that’s creepy but I figured it was happening anyway.” I admit this attitude may be too resigned to a future of zero privacy, and I hope Apple will give users a way to opt out of the location tracking. But for better or worse, I think we are all becoming apathetic to being tracked.

2 comments so far

  1. Boy this story is moving fast…
    My “Smart” son tells me ALL Smart Phone service providers and their user agreements authorize for this data gathering. Is there something Apple is doing above and beyond the normal general nefarious behavior of all cell phone / data providers? Thanks, Glenn

  2. When is actually the new iphone 5 ( or the successor of the iphone4) expected to be released? I lost my apple iphone a month ago, and I was wanting to know if I should just obtain the iPhone 4 now or wait for the apple iphone 5… In addition, I found out the actual iPhone 4′s display shatters quite simply if you drop it w/o a case. Is actually that accurate?