iphones and 3G supported ipads have all the information about our movements in past 10 months!??
The data visualisation specialists Peter Warden and Alasdair Allen have discovered this accidentally while searching for some data on their computers.
Apparantly, there are unencrypted files inside Apple’s iOS 4 software that stores locations along with time breakdown of its users, stored in the file “consolidated.db.”
This means that anyone who has a physical access can see and know where one have been at any given time. This certainly brings the issue of privacy back on the disputes table, after the German politician and privacy advocate Malte Spitz, has sued his telecom carrier and obtained a list for 35,000 data points last 6 months . Well, cccording to information that these two software hackers have given on their website, the problem is that the information is stored in easily-readable format. By passively logging your location without your permission, Apple have made it possible for anyone from a jealous spouse to a private investigator to get a detailed picture of your movements. Just think of it, to date, there are 100 mln Iphone and 15 mln iPad users!
But more importantly is the question : Why Apple is collecting this information at all?
The cell-phone providers collect inevitably the similar data as part of their information and requires a court order to gain access to it, which are stored nehind firewalls. Whereas, Apple iphone and ipad with easily-accesible sensitive information which are inevitably backed up at the computers – is available to anyone who can get their hands on the devioces.
Anyone can check this out for themselves – Warden is providing a program called “iPhone Tracker” for iPhone and 3G iPad customers so they can upload their location file into an interactive map to see their movements. All that needs to be done is to plug in the device through USB and run Warden’s application.