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iPhone Secretly Records Geolocation Data

Big Brother is watching you from inside your pants pocket. And his name is Apple.

Before you work up some crazy conspiracy theory, let’s get to the facts. It appears that the iPhone and iPad 3G automatically record your location data everywhere you go. Your movements are then automatically saved to a secret file on the device, and the file is automatically backed up on your computer when you sync up the device with iTunes.

The location data is based on raw GPS coordinates (think longitude/latitude), along with time stamps for each of these recordings. To see this data, all you need is a simple iPhone tracker application, readily available to anyone with with a computer. That’s the scary news.

The bright side is that this data (supposedly) will not be shared with anyone. It’s just stored locally on your iPhone/iPad and your computer. However, there’s not much to stop Apple (or worse, some random hacker) from acquiring this information and using it for some evildoings. Considering how much people volunteer through Foursquare, Gowalla, and Facebook Places, I guess this isn’t that far out there, except for the very important fact that this tracking is not voluntary. So Apple, tell us why this data is being recording automatically, regardless of an app needing it or not.

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About Michael Kwan

A freelance writer and tech geek from Vancouver. Find me at michaelkwan.com and follow me on Twitter @michaelkwan.

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3 comments

  1. The new IPhone White is a all round multi use mobile phone but the issue still has no change concerning the battery life.

  2. I’m looking forward to how this info will be used in criminal prosecutions. It’s just a matter of time before it is.

    • Well. Imagine this. Some hijacker wants to know the habits of his future victim. This will requiere quite a long time in follow ups and so. Not any more. Want to steal a home and need to know at what time the owner is at work. Well there you go.
      High profile personalities iphone located at a burdel, well another sex scandal on the way.
      Uses are endless.

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