Apple: Big Brother or just misunderstood?

When O'Reilly reported that iOS devices are logging location data, the world's media went wild.
Written by Stilgherrian , Contributor

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When O'Reilly reported that iOS devices are logging location data, the world's media went wild.

First Apple denied it, then it claimed that it was a bug that would be fixed. Now it, and other, smartphone makers are under investigation.

Just what is being logged on iOS devices? And what are the privacy issues for smartphone logging generally?

O'Reilly's researchers originally said that the location logging was new in iOS 4. But information security engineer Alex Levinson from Katana Forensics begged to differ. In a blog post, he pointed out that location information was already being logged in previous versions of iOS. The logging is hardly secret or new, either. It's a known component of iOS' Location Services. He'd even written about it for the book iOS Forensic Analysis, where it's all explained in chapter 10.

Alex Levinson is my guest on Patch Monday. We also hear from Professor Roger Clarke, chair of the Australian Privacy Foundation, who's calling the ability for users to have more granular control over what happens to their personal data.

Of course, there were lots of other things I could have talked about this week. In the fortnight across Easter and Anzac Day it looked like the internet was falling apart. Amazon Web Services went down. Vodafone had problems sending SMS, although that probably surprised no-one. Sony's PlayStation Network suffered a massive data breach, the fifth-largest in history, affecting 77 million users — and I talk about that on the OzSpot podcast with our friends from GameSpot AU.

So I've also given my usual look at some of last week's news headlines.

To leave an audio comment on the program, Skype to stilgherrian, or phone Sydney 02 8011 3733.

Running time: 28 minutes, 52 seconds.

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