iPhone, iPad tracking? Big deal.

iPhone, iPad tracking? Big deal.

Summary: At the Where 2.0 Conference, the discovery of the day was that your iPhone and iPad are tracking your every move.


At the Where 2.0 Conference, the discovery of the day was that your iPhone and iPad are tracking your every move.

Privacy image

(Privacy image by Pongsajapan, CC2.0)

Alasdair Allan and Pete Warden made the find, and noted on the O'Reilly Radar blog:

"Ever since iOS 4 arrived, your device has been storing a long list of locations and time stamps. We're not sure why Apple is gathering this data, but it's clearly intentional, as the database is being restored across backups, and even device migrations."

There are obviously security issues here — especially since the data is unencrypted and unprotected.

Naturally, this find will create a good bit of hubbub. But I'm trying to keep myself from yawning.

  • Why? People allow their every move to be tracked anyway — willingly.
  • I happen to have GPS set up on my Android device. I have no idea what Google is keeping on me. Cue up the "Dignan, you idiot" talkbacks.
  • I also know that a friend happened to be at Grand Central Station this morning because he checked in on FourSquare and it was blasted to his Twitter feed.
  • Folks use Google Latitude.
  • MobileMe tracks you, too.

OK, I know that there's a small opt-in issue here. But most Apple fans would opt in anyway. Let's face it, Apple isn't your average company. Most of you will like this tracking idea.

In other words, this tracking thing is just a wee bit overblown. You can track anyone and what they are doing these days. So it's a little scary that Apple has a file on you. But you trust your movements with other companies. Why not Apple? Privacy? Forget it. That was so 1980s.

Topics: Apple, iPhone, iPad, Privacy, Security

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  • Yeah, the whole tracking thing is soooo over-rated. What will these whingers be complaining about next!

    I love my new HD, 3D telescreen.
  • This article typifies why there remains a fundamental disconnect between the IT industry and the people/businesses that IT is meant to serve. In this instance, an IT expert blithely dismisses human rights including privacy just because it would be inconvenient for some IT companies to provide suitable opt-in and other privacy measures, and because "Apple fans would opt in anyway". It should be for the individual to decide what private information needs to be shared, not a marketplace.
    Human rights and privacy are not "so 1980s", they are hard-won rights that have been earned and defended through centuries of struggle, through world wars, civil wars and other campaigns for which citizens that were free or aspired to be free made great personal sacrifices, including their lives.
    • I admire your sentiment, but good luck, trying to really implement privacy is now like trying to put "fog in a box", as highlighted by this little stunner.
  • including the link would have helped!!! http://www.zdnet.com.au/us-privacy-bill-of-rights-exempts-govt-339313214.htm
  • That's perhaps one of the sad differences between people today and our ancestors. Faced with threats to liberty our ancestors militantly defeated the aggressors. Faced with modern-day threats, people today key "whatever" onto Twitter and switch back to playing with their iPhony.
    • very true, apathy rules, but hey, who cares????
  • I am not sure the integrity of this article.
    When you activate the passcode in your iPhone it encrypts everything inside it.
    The passcode works in conjunction with hidden Certificates installed in iOS.

    Maybe we should only read Apple articles to people that use their products.
    • Add to that, alot of people dont understand privacy.

      Knowing where someone lives, how much money they make, what they had for lunch is not a breach of privacy.
      How you handle that inoformation (ie disclosing) will breach privacy laws.