Law Enforcement

Apple Is Tracking You

Apple iPhone Secretly Recording

GPS tracking software and apps allow us to transform our smartphones into something much more than simply a device to transmit and receive phone calls. They provide us an avenue to track our exercise routines with fitness apps, check-in at certain locations so our friends and family nowhere we are at with social networking apps such as Facebook and they allow us to quickly access directions to a restaurant or other location via apps such as Google Maps. The technology bestows numerous benefits that many people rely on every single day, but what if your phone was sending out information about you without your authorization? What if the manufacturer of your phone created software to catalog every location you visited and time-stamped that data? Well, that is exactly what Peter Walden, the founder of Science Tool Kit, and his associates discovered when they began dissecting the world’s most popular smartphone, the Apple iPhone.

Looking for “cool stuff to do”, Walden and his associates began researching mobile data, wanting to learn more about the visualization of contacts, twitter info and more. During the investigative process, one of Walden’s associates stumbled across a directory described as “location d”, where he then found something called “consolidated.db” file. After opening up “consolidated.db”, Walden’s associate discovered that inside was a wealth of longitude positions, latitude positions, and time stamps. The location-based data was actually recording and documenting every location the cell phone had essentially been over the course of a year (approximately 100 positions per day)! The data was recorded every day, numerous times throughout the day, and all without the permission of the iPhone user.

Walden, an ex-employee of Apple who dedicated five (5) years working for the super company, stated his affection for the company, but also his sadness over the way they are collecting and handling such personal information and data from their iPhone users. What bothered Walden and his associates must be that the stored historical data was kept unencrypted, and the user was left with no avenue to delete the data from their smartphone. The team also presented their questions about why the data is being captured and stored, also stating they wish that there was some form of informed consent about the documentation of location-based data.

GPS Tracking Opinion

Are you okay with Apple iPhones collecting information about your location without your consent?

Do you believe that Apple intends on using data gathered from your iPhone for marketing purposes of some kind?

Should the capture and storing of personal data by a manufacturer by illegal?