For some reason I’ve never been a fan of the iPhone ever since it made its appearance into the mainstream world a couple of years ago and after coming across this, it just confirms my underlying dislike for it. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a great phone and awesome for those who are on team Apple but after reading this, you might be a bit more careful on how you use the phone because some researchers are claiming that Apple iPhones and 3G iPads are secretly recording and storing details of all their owners’ movements. Sad thing is that it’s very intentional.
Location data is kept in a hidden, unencrypted file according to security experts Alasdair Allan and Pete Warden and with the right software, it can be used to map exactly where a person has been.
Apple has yet to comment on the revelation, however there is no suggestion that it has been uploading or using the information.
The findings, first reported by the Guardian newspaper, will come as a surprise to most iPhone users, as their devices do not give any visual indication that such data is being recorded.
“We may collect information such as occupation, language, zip code, area code, unique device identifier, location, and the time zone where an Apple product is used so that we can better understand customer behavior and improve our products, services, and advertising.” But why be so secretive about it? Why not just spam our emails or send out mass text messages like other companies do to survey the customers on how they can improve the customer service?
Writing on the technology website O’Reilly Radar, Mr Allan and Mr Warden said they did not know why iPhones and iPads were collecting location information but it was “clearly intentional”.
The BBC’s Rory Cellan-Jones explains “It’s quite sensitive data.”The men claim that the facility to record users’ positions was added with the iOS4 software update, released in June 2010.
The data is also transferred to the owner’s computer and stored in a file there each time the two devices are connected to carry out a back-up or synchronization.
Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant at security firm Sophism, told BBC News that it was unlikely Apple planned to use the information for commercial purposes.
“I think there are some legitimate privacy concerns and people will probably look for a way of obscuring that data,” he said.
“But it is an object lesson about reading the terms and conditions,” he added.
When something doesn’t sit well with my spirit it’s only a matter of time before something like this confirms it. I’m not bashing Apple in particular however something such as this might just make me wonder if their products is truly in the best interest for the consumers or for their personal gain. Yes this can happen with Apple but be mindful that all nowadays majority of the devices that come out all track your movement someway somehow which is sad because I thought that as people we have a certain degree of privacy? But I guess maybe not.