Watch Out: Your iPhone Knows Where You've Been

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Shoggoth2588:

HankMan:
HA! I don't HAVE an Iphone!
Enjoy Big Brother Stalking you, Conformists!

I don't have an iPhone either. When Apple initiates The Takeover they will have a bit of difficulty finding me.

Everyone else though: enjoy the labor camps and, off-world silicon mining! I and the rest of the resistance (Android-based and likely named after HK-47, the most bad-ass of droids) will be with you after a good, long "We told you so".

So...can I join the rebellion too,I don't have an iPhone...I'm good with swords,but I have no Droid,just a crappy flip phone

JDKJ:

Petromir:
Given it was google that pretty much brought such things to consumer tech applications, chances of google device not doing it?

And it's pretty ewasy to stop, just turn off the GPS, it cant record data it's not measuring can it?

Oh, yes, it can if it's got an override that allows it to continue recording and transmitting data even after you've turned it off. Steve Jobs is a crafty son of a bitch. He thinks of everything.

You are absurdly paranoid aren't you, it's not being uploaded, and you'd notice if that was being turned on or off. It flags up an icon telling you its on, and given the time it takes to get a GPS fix, its going to be spotted when it does. Since it ahsnt been, you can tell.

What precisely use is it to apple anyway, criminals and law enforcement yes, but apple?

If it was uploading it there might be some idea that apple was doing something unterword, but storing it on you phone, I doubt it.

Quite why its doing it I don't know, but most applications i can think of the data, is to criminals (either to track when your away, or your movements) or the goverment, to try and prove your movements.

Wa-hey! Another reason for my silly insistence on using obsolete cell phone models!

thenumberthirteen:
I, for one am glad it tracks where I've been. That way if I ever black out for a few days I know what happened.

Trust me, if you ever black out for a few days you iPhone will be the first thing to go...

I guess Steve Jobs just likes to watch me go from my house to college then to town every day.

BishopOfBattle:
My guess is its probably used for GPS tagging photos. The iPhone and many other smart phones these days will tag your pictures with a GPS location. So you can browse your album by photos taken at a location (say, all photos you took during a trip in Boston, or while you were at the club the other night).

Rather than adding a GPS location into the data file for every picture (which I would imagine would be a lot more data if you took a lot of pictures), its probably more efficient for them to just make a log that says "At 10:00 PM on 20 April 2011, you were at X, Y coordinates" then just compare the photos time stamp to the GPS list.

For that functionality to work when you migrate phones or (possibly) with applications on the computer that can also sort photos by GPS location, that file (obviously) has to be copied as well. I doubt its an intentional "We want to know where you are!" move by Apple.

If you're honestly that concerned about privacy and concealing your movements and locations that you enraged over a file on your phone (and computer) tracking your location that 99.9% of the population will never know about and never would go looking for in the first place, then there's still holes in your logic. Why haven't you password protected your computer login so someone trying to spy on you can't get access to your data? Why have you left your phone, also not password / keypad protected, where someone can get to it? Both of those things, regardless of the GPS tracking file, give people WAY more personal access to your activities and misbehaviours than this one file.

Why they were doing it doesn't matter. The fact it was hidden and can't be disabled however does matter.

Personally I wouldn't bother turning off the feature if I had an iPhone (I don't even own a mobile anymore, but that's because I can't go anywhere anymore, health issues, and didn't see the point of having one and a home phone), however forcing it on people is just rude, and pisses people off.

I knew it! Apple is just a cover for Aperture Science!!!

Rofl hahaha all you iphone users got handled, good thing my incredible is safe lol.

robert022614:
I knew it! Apple is just a cover for Aperture Science!!!

Appleture Science.

Orannis0:

JDKJ:

Orannis0:
Yet another reason why I have just have an Ipod Touch in conjunction with a basic $20 samsung flip phone.

What makes you think your Touch isn't tracking you through your wi-fi connect?

There isn't wi-fi everywhere, and routers/modems don't hold location data unless they're also connecting to a 3G network. At best an Itouch would only provide an infrequent and random smattering of location data for a meager few locations, as most people know enough to at least have WEP encryption.

WEP encryption alone won't protect you. You're never ever fully protected unless you're wearing a tin-foil hat. Trust me on that.

Of course it tracks you. There is an iPhone service called "Find My iPhone" that let's you log onto their site if you loose your phone and find it's exact location on a map. So if I can do it, they can do it.

Also, with the reception thing. My iPhone gets brilliant reception almost anywhere on Tesco Mobile.
Seriously. Up a mountain in the Scottish highlands and I still get 1 bar signal!

JDKJ:
WEP encryption alone won't protect you. You're never ever fully protected unless you're wearing a tin-foil hat. Trust me on that.

You do realise that you just said the words "tin-foil hat" and "trust me" in the same line right? xD

JDKJ:

Orannis0:

JDKJ:

What makes you think your Touch isn't tracking you through your wi-fi connect?

There isn't wi-fi everywhere, and routers/modems don't hold location data unless they're also connecting to a 3G network. At best an Itouch would only provide an infrequent and random smattering of location data for a meager few locations, as most people know enough to at least have WEP encryption.

WEP encryption alone won't protect you. You're never ever fully protected unless you're wearing a tin-foil hat. Trust me on that.

A wireless device cannot automatically connect to an encrypted router or modem without the key, or a crack of some sort. Therefore it would be unable to access the network of its own accord.

Irridium:

And I think I know what they're doing with it, or will be doing. They're probably planning to sell it to advertisers or anyone who wants info on someone else. Again, this wouldn't surprise me at all.
Screw you Apple.

Lol i can imagine the product user agreement. 'We have the rights to sell any product/location of you at anytime, to anyone we want, for any amount of money. You don't get any of the aforementioned money."

Petromir:

JDKJ:

Petromir:
Given it was google that pretty much brought such things to consumer tech applications, chances of google device not doing it?

And it's pretty ewasy to stop, just turn off the GPS, it cant record data it's not measuring can it?

Oh, yes, it can if it's got an override that allows it to continue recording and transmitting data even after you've turned it off. Steve Jobs is a crafty son of a bitch. He thinks of everything.

You are absurdly paranoid aren't you, it's not being uploaded, and you'd notice if that was being turned on or off. It flags up an icon telling you its on, and given the time it takes to get a GPS fix, its going to be spotted when it does. Since it ahsnt been, you can tell.

What precisely use is it to apple anyway, criminals and law enforcement yes, but apple?

If it was uploading it there might be some idea that apple was doing something unterword, but storing it on you phone, I doubt it.

Quite why its doing it I don't know, but most applications i can think of the data, is to criminals (either to track when your away, or your movements) or the goverment, to try and prove your movements.

Yes, I'm as paranoid as a meth-head on a three-day binge. Does that mean that they aren't out to get me? I don't think so.

TimeLord:
Of course it tracks you. There is an iPhone service called "Find My iPhone" that let's you log onto their site if you loose your phone and find it's exact location on a map. So if I can do it, they can do it.

Also, with the reception thing. My iPhone gets brilliant reception almost anywhere on Tesco Mobile.

The problem is not about tracking. Even old, normal mobile phones were traceable based on where they logged into the network.

The problem here lies in the fact that that data is not protected, not only it tracks you constantly and sends it to Apple but also saves it on your phone, so when someone gets access to your phone they can see exactly where you went, just like that.

Orannis0:

JDKJ:

Orannis0:

There isn't wi-fi everywhere, and routers/modems don't hold location data unless they're also connecting to a 3G network. At best an Itouch would only provide an infrequent and random smattering of location data for a meager few locations, as most people know enough to at least have WEP encryption.

WEP encryption alone won't protect you. You're never ever fully protected unless you're wearing a tin-foil hat. Trust me on that.

A wireless device cannot automatically connect to an encrypted router or modem without the key, or a crack of some sort. Therefore it would be unable to access the network of its own accord.

OK, fine. Don't make yourself a tin-foil hat and wear it at all times. But don't then say I didn't warn you.

JDKJ:

Orannis0:

JDKJ:

WEP encryption alone won't protect you. You're never ever fully protected unless you're wearing a tin-foil hat. Trust me on that.

A wireless device cannot automatically connect to an encrypted router or modem without the key, or a crack of some sort. Therefore it would be unable to access the network of its own accord.

OK, fine. Don't make yourself a tin-foil hat and wear it at all times. But don't then say I didn't warn you.

A tinfoil hat is actually useless; tin is highly conductive, and isn't a dense enough metal to properly block waves. You need a lead hat, or at least an industrial steel one.

Keava:

TimeLord:
Of course it tracks you. There is an iPhone service called "Find My iPhone" that let's you log onto their site if you loose your phone and find it's exact location on a map. So if I can do it, they can do it.

Also, with the reception thing. My iPhone gets brilliant reception almost anywhere on Tesco Mobile.

The problem is not about tracking. Even old, normal mobile phones were traceable based on where they logged into the network.

The problem here lies in the fact that that data is not protected, not only it tracks you constantly and sends it to Apple but also saves it on your phone, so when someone gets access to your phone they can see exactly where you went, just like that.

Why do I seem to be the only person who has no problem with that?
So Apple know that I live in Ellon in Scotland, that I work in Tesco.... in Scotland, and shop in Aberdeen...... in Scotland and went to London for 4 days in Febuary.
See, now you know everything Apple knows about my locations in the past 6 months. I really don't see the issue here.

Maybe this is to track registered but stolen devices? They can report thieves to the authorities? *optimistic* ^^;

TimeLord:

Why do I seem to be the only person who has no problem with that?
So Apple know that I live in Ellon in Scotland, that I work in Tesco.... in Scotland, and shop in Aberdeen...... in Scotland and went to London for 4 days in Febuary.
See, now you know everything Apple knows about my locations in the past 6 months. I really don't see the issue here.

It may sound harsh. It may shatter your world. It may make you loose your identity, but i have to say it - The world is not about You.

You don't have a problem? Be happy, other people might however have a problem with the fact that such things are accessible by -anyone-. Not just Apple. Someone could steal your iPhone and get your home address from i, they could see where you work, where do you tend to go. Big enough sample and they can wait for you to mug you or ransom you or whatever.
There is thousands of reasons why someone may not want their daily routines be saved on their phone.

Apple scares me...

Aaaaand this appears after I consider getting one.

....Nope. Don't care. Angry Birds calls.

Keava:

TimeLord:

Why do I seem to be the only person who has no problem with that?
So Apple know that I live in Ellon in Scotland, that I work in Tesco.... in Scotland, and shop in Aberdeen...... in Scotland and went to London for 4 days in Febuary.
See, now you know everything Apple knows about my locations in the past 6 months. I really don't see the issue here.

It may sound harsh. It may shatter your world. It may make you loose your identity, but i have to say it - The world is not about You.

You don't have a problem? Be happy, other people might however have a problem with the fact that such things are accessible by -anyone-. Not just Apple. Someone could steal your iPhone and get your home address from i, they could see where you work, where do you tend to go. Big enough sample and they can wait for you to mug you or ransom you or whatever.
There is thousands of reasons why someone may not want their daily routines be saved on their phone.

Did I at any point say the world was about me? All I said was that I don't see the issue. That's no different to someone saying that they have an issue with this.

From OP:
"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.

Ok, so according to this, only people with access to your phone or computer can get the info. Fair enough, if the phone got stolen then that might be an issue. However, as I said earlier, the "Find my iPhone" feature comes into play. It actually secures your phone and allows you to lock up or completely wipe [read: format] your iPhone remotely if it's stolen. If some private detective needs access to your computer to find out where your going then my attitude to that is that if there is a PD looking into your locations, then there's a good chance you were somewhere you shouldn't have been anyway.

That's just my opinion on the whole thing. It may be different to yours, but it's still mine.

Orannis0:

JDKJ:

Orannis0:

A wireless device cannot automatically connect to an encrypted router or modem without the key, or a crack of some sort. Therefore it would be unable to access the network of its own accord.

OK, fine. Don't make yourself a tin-foil hat and wear it at all times. But don't then say I didn't warn you.

A tinfoil hat is actually useless; tin is highly conductive, and isn't a dense enough metal to properly block waves. You need a lead hat, or at least an industrial steel one.

If a tin-foil hat is useless, then explain to me how I just knew not to go down to my office on Wall Street on the morning of 9/11 when George W. Bush and Haliburton unleashed their diabolical plot to control Iraqi oil by deliberately crashing two commercial airliners into the Twin Towers? I'll tell you how I knew: I was wearing my tin-foil hat that morning, that's how.

JDKJ:

Orannis0:

JDKJ:

OK, fine. Don't make yourself a tin-foil hat and wear it at all times. But don't then say I didn't warn you.

A tinfoil hat is actually useless; tin is highly conductive, and isn't a dense enough metal to properly block waves. You need a lead hat, or at least an industrial steel one.

If a tin-foil hat is useless, then explain to me how I just knew not to go down to my office on Wall Street on the morning of 9/11 when George W. Bush and Haliburton unleashed their diabolical plot to control Iraqi oil by deliberately crashing two commercial airliners into the Twin Towers? I'll tell you how I knew: I was wearing my tin-foil hat that morning, that's how.

Aaannnnnnnnd there goes any credibility you had left.

Orannis0:

JDKJ:

Orannis0:

A tinfoil hat is actually useless; tin is highly conductive, and isn't a dense enough metal to properly block waves. You need a lead hat, or at least an industrial steel one.

If a tin-foil hat is useless, then explain to me how I just knew not to go down to my office on Wall Street on the morning of 9/11 when George W. Bush and Haliburton unleashed their diabolical plot to control Iraqi oil by deliberately crashing two commercial airliners into the Twin Towers? I'll tell you how I knew: I was wearing my tin-foil hat that morning, that's how.

Aaannnnnnnnd there goes any credibility you had left.

Fine. If I have to choose between lost credibility and having my mind controlled by Apple's gamma rays, I'll take the lost credibility every time.

That sounds pretty nasty.

If anyone who can get their hands on your Iphone can know where you've been, then privacy - especially between people who live together - just took a critical hit for massive damage. Plus, the file could always be extracted by Apple and used/sold for marketing purposes.

Vitvol279:
Good thing I always have my GPS turned off. Unless it some how tracks my phone even when off. If that's the case then who wants to buy a used iphone?

FAQ on the site linked in the article:
As far as we can tell, the location is determined by triangulating against the nearest cell-phone towers. This isn't as accurate as GPS, but presumably takes less power.

If your phone has reception, your location is apparently being recording.

Imperator_DK:
That sounds pretty nasty.

If anyone who can get their hands on your Iphone can know where you've been, then privacy - especially between people who live together - just took a critical hit for massive damage. Plus, the file could always be extracted by Apple and used/sold for marketing purposes.

Vitvol279:
Good thing I always have my GPS turned off. Unless it some how tracks my phone even when off. If that's the case then who wants to buy a used iphone?

FAQ on the site linked in the article:
As far as we can tell, the location is determined by triangulating against the nearest cell-phone towers. This isn't as accurate as GPS, but presumably takes less power.

If your phone has reception, your location is apparently being recording.

Wow... well I'm not buying an iphone then.

Ampersand:
I don't really have anything to hide, so whom so ever wants to track me can just have at it.

You don't have anything to hide, so you won't mind if I follow you everywhere you go, right?
You don't have anything to hide, so you won't mind if I go through your house, right?
You don't have anything to hide, so you won't mind if I strip search you, right?

Privacy isn't a matter of what you have to hide or don't have to hide, it's part of basic human DECENCY, something that's sorely lacking these days. You have a basic right to have some privacy until you do something to otherwise warrent having it taken away.

That's pretty nasty. Not like I planned to ever get one anyway though.

ShadowKatt:

Ampersand:
I don't really have anything to hide, so whom so ever wants to track me can just have at it.

You don't have anything to hide, so you won't mind if I follow you everywhere you go, right?
You don't have anything to hide, so you won't mind if I go through your house, right?
You don't have anything to hide, so you won't mind if I strip search you, right?

Privacy isn't a matter of what you have to hide or don't have to hide, it's part of basic human DECENCY, something that's sorely lacking these days. You have a basic right to have some privacy until you do something to otherwise warrent having it taken away.

"DON'T TOUCH MY JUNK!!" That's all that need be said.

Irridium:
This is apple. It is not the least bit surprising that they would pull something like this.

And this is why I don't buy Apple products.

And I think I know what they're doing with it, or will be doing. They're probably planning to sell it to advertisers or anyone who wants info on someone else. Again, this wouldn't surprise me at all.

Screw you Apple.

this is a huge bonus in terms of helping to prosecute criminals. if someone has an alibi and an iphone, confirming that alibi can be as simple as scanning their iphone data. yea, it's mildly invasive, but as long as the information is only retrieved if you're involved in a criminal case it doesn't seem too worrying to me

mrdude2010:

Irridium:
This is apple. It is not the least bit surprising that they would pull something like this.

And this is why I don't buy Apple products.

And I think I know what they're doing with it, or will be doing. They're probably planning to sell it to advertisers or anyone who wants info on someone else. Again, this wouldn't surprise me at all.

Screw you Apple.

this is a huge bonus in terms of helping to prosecute criminals. if someone has an alibi and an iphone, confirming that alibi can be as simple as scanning their iphone data. yea, it's mildly invasive, but as long as the information is only retrieved if you're involved in a criminal case it doesn't seem too worrying to me

That ain't no kinda alibi. Who's to say that Suspect X was the one actually using the phone? It could just as easily be their co-conspirator doing so in order to establish a phony alibi (pun intended) for Suspect X.

JDKJ:

mrdude2010:

Irridium:
This is apple. It is not the least bit surprising that they would pull something like this.

And this is why I don't buy Apple products.

And I think I know what they're doing with it, or will be doing. They're probably planning to sell it to advertisers or anyone who wants info on someone else. Again, this wouldn't surprise me at all.

Screw you Apple.

this is a huge bonus in terms of helping to prosecute criminals. if someone has an alibi and an iphone, confirming that alibi can be as simple as scanning their iphone data. yea, it's mildly invasive, but as long as the information is only retrieved if you're involved in a criminal case it doesn't seem too worrying to me

That ain't no kinda alibi. Who's to say that Suspect X was the one actually using the phone? It could just as easily be their co-conspirator doing so in order to establish a phony alibi (pun intended) for Suspect X.

not necessarily, but at the very least it could instantly disprove their alibi if they had it on them while they were somewhere else. if they say they gave it to someone else, they have to find that person, and that person has to lie to the investigators. obviously a smart criminal would leave stuff like that behind, but there are plenty who won't. i would imagine a robber might bring his iphone to communicate with the other people he's working with if need be, so their phone being in the bank at the time would certainly be a strong indicator of their potential guilt. obviously is not perfect, but it helps

mrdude2010:

JDKJ:

mrdude2010:

this is a huge bonus in terms of helping to prosecute criminals. if someone has an alibi and an iphone, confirming that alibi can be as simple as scanning their iphone data. yea, it's mildly invasive, but as long as the information is only retrieved if you're involved in a criminal case it doesn't seem too worrying to me

That ain't no kinda alibi. Who's to say that Suspect X was the one actually using the phone? It could just as easily be their co-conspirator doing so in order to establish a phony alibi (pun intended) for Suspect X.

not necessarily, but at the very least it could instantly disprove their alibi if they had it on them while they were somewhere else. if they say they gave it to someone else, they have to find that person, and that person has to lie to the investigators. obviously a smart criminal would leave stuff like that behind, but there are plenty who won't. i would imagine a robber might bring his iphone to communicate with the other people he's working with if need be, so their phone being in the bank at the time would certainly be a strong indicator of their potential guilt. obviously is not perfect, but it helps

Either way you cut it, there's no way to be 100% sure that the person actually using a cellular phone is Person X. It could just as likely be Person Y or Person Z.

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