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Doing Evil: Google Tracking iPhone Activity

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You know how the informal slogan at Google is “do no evil.” Yeah, it looks like that philosophy has long since been thrown out the window and now it’s continuing with some unauthorized iPhone tracking. This isn’t the same as the Apple geolocation tracking fiasco. Instead, as always, Google is interested in your surfing habits.

It looks like Google is taking advantage of an exploit in the mobile Safari browser that would then subsequently let the search engine giant follow your every move through the world wide mobile web. Normally, the default privacy settings in Safari blocks third-party cookies, like those from ad networks being displayed on a site you are visiting. However, there is a loophole where if you interact with that ad in a certain way, the cookie can be set. That’s what Google, and advertisers using the DoubleClick ad technology are exploiting.

Google loves that data and it looks like it’s willing to circumvent security settings in order to get at it. So much for doing no evil.

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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