Apple collecting iPhone usage data (Updated)

Apple collecting iPhone usage data (Updated)

Summary: Uneasy Silence is reporting that Apple is collecting data on iPhone customers as they use their popular weather and stock applications on the device. According to the report Apple is sending user's IMEI number and data about the information requested to a special tracking server at headquarters: http://iphone-wu.


Apple collecting iPhone user data

Uneasy Silence is reporting that Apple is collecting data on iPhone customers as they use their popular weather and stock applications on the device. According to the report Apple is sending user's IMEI number and data about the information requested to a special tracking server at headquarters: (as seen in the hex editor screen shot above.)

Paranoid types will upset at the fact that Apple is tracking the stocks and weather that you watch but in reality you consented to it when your agreed to the iPhone EULA, which states:

When you interact with Apple, we may collect personal information relevant to the situation, such as your name, mailing address, phone number, email address, and contact preferences; your credit card information and information about the Apple products you own, such as their serial numbers and date of purchase; and information relating to a support or service issue.

You did read the iPhone EULA, didn't you?

Update (2007-1120 09:25 ET): According to posts at Docpool and Heise Online (Via Gizmodo) "these IDs are identical in all iPhones... The most plausible explanation: the codes could be just application identifiers."

Uneasy Silence has also updated their post to say: "After 24 hours of being online it’s still not been totally determined that the information being exchanged between you and Apple is anonymous. It seems to now be application identifiers, not an IMEI. Now all we know is that information is being exchanged and we are not sure exactly what.

Tinfoil futures are beginning to tumble...

Topics: Banking, Apple, iPhone, Mobility

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  • I would be surprised

    [i]You did read the iPhone EULA, didn?t you?[/i]

    I would be surprised if even 10% of everyone who agreed to any EULA actually read it.
    • Judge for yourself

      Do these iPhone user look like they even know what a EULA is?
      • Look like it?

        Heck they can't even spell EULA...
        Just like Mac users don't know how to use a computer...
        (oooh that should get something going...)
        • OK I'll bite

          Given that Macs are intuitive and do things automatically and don't have to be
          manually configured for every little task, I'd say Mac users were the only ones that
          know what a computer is. Doze users don't use computers, they use robot slaves that
          must be told everything.

      "You did read the iPhone EULA, didn?t you?
      I would be surprised if even 10% of everyone who agreed to any EULA actually read it."

      No one reads these things, and these paranoid morons lack any common sense what so ever.

      Does anyone here have a social security number?
      Does anyone here have a drivers license?
      Does anyone here know their credit score???
      Does anyone here use plastic or debit to pay for anything????
      Does anyone here have digital cable or satalite???
      Does anyone here belong to costco or sams club???
      Does anyone here buy anything online???
      Does anyone here use google or yahoo to search???
      Does anyone here have a webmail account???

      If you don't want to be tracked, THEN THROW OUT ALL TECHNOLOGY IMMEDIATELY!!!! No phone, no computer, nothing electronic, no tv, no cable, no credit, no nothing. Pay cash for everything and get your money under the table. Drive without a license. Deal drugs or rob and steal and only pay cash for anything and everything.

      We are all being tracked in everything we do. If you have digital cable or satalite, then they know what shows you watch, they know if you mute a commercial, if you have tivo they know which shows you record and how many times you rewound and re watched a certain event. Like the Janet Jackson clothing malfunction at the super bowl was rewound and watched an average of 3 times per household. They plan to start marketing to individual primetimes and demographic profile. They are building this information as we speak and have been since the onset of digital cable. If you are a golpher, you will get commercials aimed at you at the times you watch TV, if you are allergic to milk, you will never see a dairy or cheese commercial again, if you suffer from incontenece you will see a ton of adult diaper commercials.

      Every time you buy anything on credit or debit, it is tracked. There are huge companies that sell personal data. they sell to marketing and advertising companies, private investigators, ordinary people, employers doing background checks, insurance companies that will deny coverage is a person has made too many sdi claims, etc.



      Seriously people. Every cell carrier in the business is collecting data on their customers. Every business in the world is collecting data on their customers... IT'S CALLED DEMOGRAPHIC PROFILING !!!! Businesses need to know their customers to better serve them, to better market to them, for new business as well as customer retention.



      You are getting butt hurt over something that has been going on since the birth of credit and commerce.

        [i]if you suffer from incontenece you will see a ton of adult diaper commercials.[/i]

        I wonder what the babysitter will make of that!

        none none
      • you might want to take a deep breath, and a vacation (nt)

      • Could be the cat you ate didn't agree with you.

        Though in truth, many here probally will not agree with you, either.
      • It's really a dual-edged sword, isn't it???

        I mean, like most everyone else, I don't really like the idea that Microsoft, or Apple, or my cable company, or my credit card company, or whoever else is collecting and compiling data about every single thing I do in my life they can possibly track... It IS, invasive, intrusive, and quite possibly abusive, or prone to abuse -- particularly if people with criminal intent get hold of the WRONG data...

        On the OTHER HAND, as you said, "i8thecat," the "purpose" of this data collection by most of these companies is to "better serve their customers" (or better market to them, in most cases)... Either way, there's a case to be made that in a "perfect world," this could very well work to the benefit of us consumers most of the time... As you pointed out: someone who is lactose intolerant might end up NEVER having to see commercials for milk, cheese or ice cream again, rather than being bombarded by them. Those of us who are almost NEVER in the market for a car have to sit through countless HOURS of car commercials at present, even though we buy a car maybe every 10 years. If demographics were better, and TV ads could be completely target-marketed, someone like me wouldn't have to see those commercials EXCEPT when I was really in the market...

        So demographic data collection and distribution has its purpose. At present, it's still very poorly used, as most people still resort to old-fashioned mailing lists and so forth and use mass-mailing lists based on very BROAD interersts, so our house ends up with TONS of catalogs because my mom orders from a select few... Perhaps one day, things will be better...

        Or, the evil geniouses will figure out how to suck our brains dry and we'll ALL be in trouble, muahahahahaha!!!

        Like I said, it IS a double-edged sword.
        Jeff Hayes
    • EULA

      You have to pay for the phone and open it before you can read the EULA, probably. Then you can't return the phone.

      I just assume that all EULAs state that I don't actually get to own what I just purchased, the company has ALL of the rights and NO responsibility, the company will collect every bit & byte of my data and use it to their advantage and my DIS-advantage, and that I just got the shaft.
  • RE: Apple collecting iPhone user data

    Oh my God. I shudder to think that
    Apple might possibly know what the temperature is outside my house. Oh
    woe is me, alack-a-day! How will I ever
    feel safe and secure, knowing that Apple
    can tell that it's 72?? and sunny here?

    Jason, stop with all the conspiracy
    theories. It's become tiresome. We all
    know you're still so bitter from Apple's
    lawsuit against you that you see demons
    around every corner. Jeez, let it go
    • You forget something

      this is the one thing they [i]did[/i] discover. How do you know they haven't more personal data that no one has managed to find at this point in time?

      They do have a Google member sitting on their board, you do not think Apple isn't passing some of this info along to the "data kings"?
    • Cue the apologists!!

      That's right, and I'm sure you would have written the [b]exact[/b] same thing had it turned out that MS was collecting all that [b]personally identifiable[/b] information?

      snicker, smirk :)
      • I do not want

        "my WindowsXP machine sending [b]any[/b] data back to Microsoft"

        How many times have we heard [i]that[/i] argument on these discussion boards? ;)
      • Que the MS Trolls

        Microsoft has been collecting personal data for decades. Have you ever seen a log from a packet sniffer on a windows box???

        snicker, smirk :)
        • You have to make things up, now?

          Go back and eat another cat.

          snicker, smirk :)
      • personally identifiable?

        Just where did you read, in this RUMOR, that Apple is collecting 'personally
        identifiable' user data?

        You say it's time for the apologists, but you chimed in with the standard idiot
        criticism too fast. You implied far more than you had reason to -- and even noted for
        us that Microsoft did, in fact, collect personally identifiable user information, to
        bolster any claim that Apple isn't doing as badly as they did (do?) Microsoft isn't off
        the hook for that -- consumers need to be angry at them.
        _You_ need to apologize.
      • Except it is not the same thing

        iPhone users in Germany started tracking the data that their handhelds were transmitting. The verdict: It looks Apple is receiving generic application identifiers, not user-specific information. Instead of individual user activity, however, it appears that Apple is receiving the identifier code, or UUID, for the application that is requesting data, and nothing about the user or the data they are receiving.

        Snicker smirk that.
        • MarcB

          Can we really trust the Germans? ;) <br>
          We know they love David Hasselhoff. That is suspicious at best. <br>
          Really, Apple partners with Google, the king of data mining of your personal data, so it's more than probable Apple is trying to gather personal usage information.
          • Heck, Google has just about everything on a person

            Google's like the biggest info broker in the world, as they buy up companies or create applications that tie together bits and pieces of our internet lives, phone numbers, blogs, company data available via websites cached, maps, . . . what Google needs is that tech that allows cellphones to be pinpointed to a rough location, . . . is that in the Jesus phone?