Breaking: Your iPhone Is Secretly Tracking Your Location

Breaking: Your iPhone Is Secretly Tracking Your Location
April 21 11:55 2011 Print This Article

Visualization Of An iPhone’s Saved Location Data


Yes, your iPhone is secretly tracking your location. And by that, we don’t mean just your current location – it’s been keeping an complete log of your whereabouts for the entire time you’ve had it. Plus, if you migrate to a different iPhone, it also migrates this data. Why? We don’t know. But it sure is a little disturbing.


This breach of privacy was uncovered by data scientists Pete Warden and and Alasdair Allan, who have developed an application to visualize the data here. Put simply, your iPhone, or iPad, has been programmed to save all your location information, starting around iOS 4.0, based on signal tower triangulation systems and save it regularly on a file on your device. This file is then backed up onto your system when you sync your device and it can then be opened by you or other individuals to determine where you’ve been for the entire time you’ve had your phone.


This is potentially dangerous information because anybody who has access to your phone or sync files can determine where you have been with your device for the past year or so – thereby revealing private locations like your home, friends, work, travelling habits, and the like. Needless to say, this would eliminate any possibility of keeping anything secret from curious eyes. It’s a slight consolation that there has not been any evidence to show that Apple is collecting this data through the internet as it is so far only limited to your device and synched backups. However, we should be more careful as to what happens to this data should we, say, part with our devices – either by selling them or if they were to be unfortunately lost or stolen.


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See, here’s an idea: I’ve known this girl for a while and, well, she’s not exactly forthcoming with her personal information. You know, because she’s um, shy! Yes, very shy. So maybe one day I’ll just randomly “borrow” her phone and everything will be revealed, right? What? You’re saying I should just ask for her information so I don’t look like a stalker? That’s ridiculous! Stalkers use much longer zoom lenses than I do! Totally not the same thing, really…


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