Privacy Concerns over iPhone Location Recording

Yesterday at the Where 2.0 conference Researchers Alasdair Allan and Pete Warden revealed a major leak of location data in all iOS 4 devices.

In doing research on data vizualisation the researchers found that Apple was automatically storing a file with all historical location data (cell-ID) of the user in every iPhone or iPad with iOS 4. This unencrypted file is also backed-up to every computer you sync your mobile device to. Therefore, whoever has access to your laptop could easily track ypur every move since Apple released iOS 4 in June 2010.

The data pulled from the iPhone of Alasdair Allan shows a average of 100 cell-ID points per day.

This discovery of the two researchers clearly shows that Apple it not taking privacy seriously, despite what it said earlier when a pair of congressmen required the company to clarify its new policy about location in the new terms and conditions of iOS 4 in June 2010 (read our story here).

At that time Apple said it collects only anonymous location data, but the problem is that when it is stored unencrypted in your laptop hard disc drive it is definitely not anonymous. Now we might expect the same US Senators – and likely many privacy watchdogs across the globe (Germany and France are likely to be the toughest) to investigate the matter.

Watch below a video interview with the two researchers:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *