Wednesday, April 20, 2011
Everywhere You Go-I'll Be Watchin' You.
From The Guardian.
Security researchers have discovered that Apple's iPhone keeps track of where you go – and saves every detail of it to a secret file on the device which is then copied to the owner's computer when the two are synchronized.
The file contains the latitude and longitude of the phone's recorded coordinates along with a timestamp, meaning that anyone who stole the phone or the computer could discover details about the owner's movements using a simple program.
For some phones, there could be almost a year's worth of data stored, as the recording of data seems to have started with Apple's iOS 4 update to the phone's operating system, released in June 2010.
"Apple has made it possible for almost anybody – a jealous spouse, a private detective – with access to your phone or computer to get detailed information about where you've been," said Pete Warden, one of the researchers.
If someone were to steal an iPhone and "jailbreak" it, giving them direct access to the files it contains, they could extract the location database directly. Alternatively, anyone with direct access to a user's computer could run the application and see a visualization of their movements. Encrypting data on the computer is one way to protect against it, though that still leaves the file on the phone.