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Old 04-21-2011, 02:15 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Apple products track/store your location

Dunno if someone posted this yet or not but.

Tracking File Found in iPhones

Quote:
Apple faced questions on Wednesday about the security of its iPhone and iPad after a report that the devices regularly record their locations in a hidden file.

The report came from a technology conference in San Francisco, where two computer programmers presented research showing that the iPhone and 3G versions of the iPad began logging users’ locations a year ago, when Apple updated its mobile operating system.

After customers upgraded the software, a new hidden file began periodically storing location data, apparently gleaned from nearby cellphone towers and Wi-Fi networks, along with the time.

The data is stored on a person’s phone or iPad, but when the device is synced to a computer, the file is copied over to the hard drive, the programmers said. The data is not normally encrypted; although users can encrypt their information when they sync their devices, few do.

... blah blah blah


But sitting on a home computer, the data could now be more vulnerable to access by hackers or others, he said. And information about a person’s locations over time could be accessible to strangers if a phone or iPad was lost or if it was attacked by malware.

The news of what appeared to be a security problem immediately ricocheted across the Internet as bloggers on technology and Apple-centered sites debated the many questions left unanswered by the report.

It is unclear, for example, whether Apple is gaining access to the information in any way. It is also unclear how precise the location data is and why it is being stored at all.

The programmers said they had asked Apple’s product security team about their findings but did not receive a response. Apple also did not respond to a request for comment from The New York Times.

“Collecting this data is not illegal, but it does matter whether or not this is explicitly spelled out in Apple’s terms of use,” said Christina Gagnier, a lawyer specializing in privacy and copyright. “Apple constantly changes their privacy policy, and it’s questionable whether most users are aware this is happening.”

Mr. Allan, who has written books that teach people how to program, also said that the data being collected would be transferred to a new product when customers buy a new phone or iPad, and then sync it.



Pretty fucked up if you ask me. Nothing that surprising though...

Inb4 that yahookan Apple/Mac fag wellflation gets raped by big brudda.
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Old 04-21-2011, 02:35 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I saw this on the news, this morning. My guess is info like this, just like info from Facebook check-ins, would be collected to be sold to advertisers. The upside is, with all the jobs in this country being exported, no one will be able to afford what they're selling anyway.



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Old 04-21-2011, 03:22 PM   #3 (permalink)
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^ The appalling thing isn't that the iphone is collecting location data, it's the way they have it set up is so anyone can pick up your tracking info, from the police to a crazy bitch ex-gf. Not just off your iphone, but from your computer as well. So, if you lose your phone or someone other than you accesses your computer, everywhere you've been since June [or activation date] is readily available to whomever.

Evidence is pointing out that there's no malice, just a bug:

"more likely, an oversight," according to John Gruber and his sources (who, for the uninitiated, are most probably inside of Apple). What kind of "oversight" could lead to your phone giving up everywhere you've taken it, you ask?

As Gruber's been informed, consolidated.db—the tin-foil-hat-inducing log in question—is a cache for location data. (As Pete Warden and Alasdair Allan's FAQ about their project implies.) What's supposed to happen with the cache is that the "historical data should be getting culled but isn't"—because of said bug or oversight. In Gruber's words:

I.e. someone wrote the code to cache location data but never wrote code to cull non-recent entries from the cache, so that a database that's meant to serve as a cache of your recent location data is instead a persistent log of your location history. I'd wager this gets fixed in the next iOS update.

This makes a lot of sense, because Windows Phone 7 and Android work more or less the same way—they both cache your single most recent location. And while Apple's not said anything publicly about this so far, I'd also bet that this gets quietly patched up in the next iOS update. In the meantime, if you are freaked out on a personal—not merely philosophical—level, start encrypting your iPhone backups. And, uh, don't lose your phone.
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Old 04-21-2011, 03:44 PM   #4 (permalink)
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im sure they make sure to cover it up a little better with the next update at least.
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Old 04-21-2011, 04:12 PM   #5 (permalink)
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there are options to turn off the GPS location device in most smartphones. also from what i understand this only happens if you automatically sync with your computer.
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Old 04-21-2011, 04:33 PM   #6 (permalink)
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^It's based off cellular triangulation, not the gps function. It won't be precise, juts records the general vicinity of where you are. More of a tool to gather network usage data than tracking.

The files are stored both on the phone and the computer, as itunes takes backups of the iphone automatically. Unless you charge your iphone from the wall and never change the media in it, you're only vulnerable to it being stolen to be tracked.
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Old 04-21-2011, 05:02 PM   #7 (permalink)
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doesn't really seem malicious to me
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Old 04-21-2011, 05:32 PM   #8 (permalink)
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It's not, it's a bug.
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Old 04-22-2011, 03:00 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Old 04-22-2011, 03:12 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Canadian program takes Apple's eye off your phone
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Old 04-22-2011, 03:15 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Misleading headline
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Old 04-22-2011, 03:18 PM   #12 (permalink)
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agreed, but "canadian program fixes bug in apple software update" is not nearly as sensational or newsworthy
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Old 04-22-2011, 03:21 PM   #13 (permalink)
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I mean i was hoping it would be downloadable.

Even though i have an Android, I could give it to my friends that do carry the iphone.
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Old 04-22-2011, 05:11 PM   #14 (permalink)
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i dont really understand the issue. the app is free. i don't have an iphone so i guess i am not really sure what you mean

Untrackerd Destroys Your iPhone’s Tracking Data | Lifehacker Australia
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Old 04-22-2011, 05:19 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Thanks, it wasn't in your first article.
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Old 04-22-2011, 06:12 PM   #16 (permalink)
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i googled the name. i didn't even really read the article
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