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iPhones secretly tracking user location


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Apple has a history of wanting to gather as much information about its user base as possible. Google has been caught numerous times with the same problem when it recorded people’s Wi-Fi connections through its Google cars when gathering data to build Google Street view.

Well today, O’reilly Radar have found that Apple may have taken it a step too far as they have been recording the position of your iPhone and 3G iPad devices ever since the release of iOS 4 in July 2010.

They found that the devices save the position of your device in a hidden file named “consolidated.db” by means of recording the latitude-longitude coordinates with the addition of a timestamp. It could be speculated that it could have been a mistake by Apple but that argument is later refuted when they find that iTunes includes a copy of the database within your device backups, so when you restore the backup, even to a new device, the data is kept. It’s clear that Apple is recording this information intentionally but the question is why?

What makes the problem a little more strange is that by recording such data, Apple are putting your data at security and privacy risks as the file is unencrypted and stays on any machine that you have previously synched your iPhone/iPad with. It also leaves a more real problem for the users of iOS 4 – anyone who knows how to access that file can locate where you’ve been in all the time you’ve had the device. For many people, that period of time will likely be a year, meaning a year of information of your locations have been saved into that file.

In addition to recording the wireless access points it also records cell towers and GPS. Since this affects all iOS 4 users it essentially means all of Apple’s own employees have been recorded – was it ever in their company contract that Apple had right to record where they go?

Thankfully there is a way to start to protect yourself, by encrypting your backups through iTunes which can be done by clicking on your device in iTunes and checking ‘Encrypt iPhone backup’ under the Options menu.

The author from O’reilly has created an app that will allow you to view your own data that it’s recorded.

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this is why apple get their shit jailbroken

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BoxingChaos

Unfortunately for us, it's more than our phones tracking us.

There was a program on tv last year on how to disappear and try to start a new life using a new identity. I was shocked at just how many things have tracking devices on them, this includes phones, car, even tires have chips. Computer of course, food has chips, credit cards, toll checks, clothing has chips. Face recognition cameras on polls, cameras at red lights, man the list just went on and on. :( They even make windshields for cars that allow a program to read the lips of people talking inside of the vehicle :(

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#return 1337

Next time I get a hold of my friend's iPhone, I'm going to find out where he's been.

Thanks apple and applefag friends for making it so easy to gain personal information about a person.

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Google capturing same location data as Apple's iOS devices

It seems that Apple is not the only mobile phone company that has been grabbing data from users without them knowing. The Wall Street Journal has reported that Android smartphones are collecting the same kind of data as Apple has been recording on their iOS devices and then uploading the information back to Google.

Security analyst Samy Kamkar told the site that the HTC Android phone that he had been using has been grabbing location information and sending the data back to Google numerous times an hour, something the company allows users to opt-out of during setup. It also transmitted the name, location, and signal strength of Wi-Fi networks that were nearby, along with the phones unique identifier information.

This is not the first time that Google has been accused of recording data without the user knowing, the company had to deal with a major Wi-Fi privacy scandal last year when the company said that private data was being accidentally captured by rogue code left in its Street View vehicles.

Apple meanwhile, has been caught recording the position of your iPhone and 3G iPad devices ever since the release of iOS 4 in July 2010. They found that the devices save the position of your device in a hidden file named "consolidated.db" by means of recording the latitude-longitude coordinates with the addition of a timestamp.

Despite there being numerous reports stating that iOS devices were recording location data even as early as last year, privacy watchdogs have only just started to demand answers from Apple. Meanwhile, Google has chosen not to comment on the matter.

Update: An additional article on The Guardian website talks about how they believe both Apple and Google are now using their mobile devices to build up huge databases for location-based services.

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Well, they are the champions in that area , and worst !

For PC you can somewhat lessen the damage by entering this lines in your hosts file :

127.0.0.1 www.google-analytics.com

127.0.0.1 google-analytics.com

I have those lines for a long time, there are probably more things you can do but I don't care that much about PC and leaked info.

btw I would never use Chrome or any Google product for that matter , stay far away as possible.

Damn, if it wasn't for work I wouldn't even use Microsoft OS , but I just can't switch to Linux and run it full time.

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