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Author Topic: Another bite out of Apple...?  (Read 4872 times)

Offline chris

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Another bite out of Apple...?
« on: 21/04/2011 13:27:25 »
Apple appear to be covertly logging the locations of their phone users, generating a file that is stored in a highly-accessible way on backup computers:

http://arstechnica.com/apple/news/2011/04/how-apple-tracks-your-location-without-your-consent-and-why-it-matters.ars

What do people (with iPhones) think of this; is anyone concerned, or is it just hot air?


 

Offline RD

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Another bite out of Apple...?
« Reply #1 on: 21/04/2011 19:41:07 »
Not just an issue for Apple owners ...

Quote
Creepy app is really creepy
... Almost everything online has some location data attached to it – Tweets have geolocations, so do Foursquare check-ins, let’s not forget the location information on the EXIF data found on photographs that are uploaded to Twitpic, Yfrog, and even Flickr. Creepy scours the internet for all this location data and uses it to generate a history of where a person has been, and presents you with a map marking all the locations your target has been, making it extremely easy to find out where somebody frequents. The perfect companion for a stalker.
http://www.ubergizmo.com/2011/03/creepy-app-is-really-creepy/
« Last Edit: 21/04/2011 19:56:01 by RD »
 

Offline JP

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Another bite out of Apple...?
« Reply #2 on: 21/04/2011 23:04:46 »
Tracking software has been around for a while, but it's either usually opt-in (though you usually opt in through the license agreement, which few people read), or it's done by piecing together some encrypted or hidden data, such as the EXIF data RD mentions above.   What's worrying about this case is that all the data is stored in an unencrypted file and there was supposedly no notification to users that this was being done.  The phones also supposedly back up this data to PCs they're connected to--again, without telling anyone that this is being done.  So even if you're very careful to opt out of or minimize location tracking, you'd still be carrying around an unencrypted location data file that you didn't know about, and possibly have shared it on several devices.
 

Offline chris

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Another bite out of Apple...?
« Reply #3 on: 22/04/2011 11:27:28 »
Now the US government are getting involved...(maybe they have something to hide?!)

http://www.computerworld.com/s/article/9216058/Apple_faces_questions_from_Congress_about_iPhone_tracking
 

Offline JP

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Another bite out of Apple...?
« Reply #4 on: 22/04/2011 14:20:46 »
I'm sure they do.  :)

But I've heard from several folks who have worked in the tech sector that as far as government tracking goes, what the iPhone is doing is nothing.  Apparently cell phones can be tracked and their microphones can be turned on even when you have it powered off.  If the government wants to spy on you through your cell phone, the best you can do is leave it at home.
 

Offline Geezer

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Another bite out of Apple...?
« Reply #5 on: 27/04/2011 21:30:36 »
It was just a simple misunderstanding  :D

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/us_apple_iphone_tracking
 

Offline chris

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Another bite out of Apple...?
« Reply #6 on: 27/04/2011 22:33:26 »
Oh, of course, that'll be it - just a [Apple's word] "misunderstanding"; and reading the reply from your link, Geezer, I see that part of the "misunderstanding" is that the phone doesn't actually store the user's location at all, just a list of masts and wi-fi hotspots where they are. And, of course, it was a software error that led to the phone capturing and storing this potentially valuable consumer marketing data that could be used to profile the user...

So glad that the "misunderstanding" has now been cleared up...



« Last Edit: 27/04/2011 22:35:23 by chris »
 

Offline Geezer

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Another bite out of Apple...?
« Reply #7 on: 27/04/2011 23:10:17 »
Perhaps it was really Apple's misunderstanding

a) that they would get caught; and

b) how incensed the customers would be when they found out.
 

Offline chris

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Another bite out of Apple...?
« Reply #8 on: 01/05/2011 22:16:04 »
I think you've hit the nail on the head...
 

Offline Mazurka

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Another bite out of Apple...?
« Reply #9 on: 13/05/2011 15:01:12 »
Although I cannot find the article again to link to, I understand that Apple had put a clause somewhere towards the bottom of the license agreement for the iphone4 to collect the location data from the phones - so it all alright [B)] 
 

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Another bite out of Apple...?
« Reply #9 on: 13/05/2011 15:01:12 »

 

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