Your iPhone knows where you are and is recording your location

Do you know where your iPhone is?  Well it knows where you are and it’s recording your location.  Don’t you remember hitting the allow button when asked “iPhone would like to use your location”?  You probably don’t, because there was no prompt.  Data Scientists Alasdair Allan and Pete Warden have discovered a file in iOS 4 that records your location and stores it into a db file.  The tracking is believed to have begun with the iOS 4 update.  The file is called consolidated.db and is an unencrypted file in the OS.  The file can be accessed from the phone or from any computer that the iPhone has synced with as well.

iPhoneTracking1

The data in the db file itself are coordinates (latitude, longitude) and a timestamp.  According to the finders, there can be thousands of data points in the db that could date up to a year ago.  There was also no evidence of the data being sent anywhere from the device or any computers the phone has synced with.  Allan and Warden will be giving their findings today at the Where 2.0 conference in California today.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GynEFV4hsA0&w=600&h=368]

There is one word that should come from all of this:  PRIVACY!  If you lose your phone, anyone knowingly can access your location for the past year.  Even though providers already keep this data, they have it locked down and protected.  Some of us foursquare users already share our location with others, but we clicked a button to allow the application to do that.  This was unknowingly to us users that Apple was storing this data, and it’s still unknown as to why or how it is being used.

The finders also created an application that allows you the user to view your tracking data on a map.  Find that program here.

[via engadget]

About the Author

David is a Systems Engineer by day and a Competitive Triathlete on the weekends. He is an avid Apple fan who also loves everything Google. He writes on everything and loves to share news with fellow techies.

8 comments

  1. I am so glad that I have an Android device and I have control over this. Well, at least I think I do!
    Loved the write up and thank you for the info, it is good to know.

  2. Your an idiot your talking about Google they probably upload directly to their server. Nobody’s privacy is safe with technology. They have been tracking cell phones forever, its an option with all carriers to track your family do you really think that is the only time it is used. The only reason there such a hype is because its Apple something for society to complain about.

    Here is something else to think about you know those discount cards you get for grocery stores they keep track of everything you buy and I bet you anything in the future it will affect your health care costs because of the food you buy.

  3. I am so glad that I have an Android device and I have control over this. Well, at least I think I do!
    Loved the write up and thank you for the info, it is good to know.

  4. Your an idiot your talking about Google they probably upload directly to their server. Nobody’s privacy is safe with technology. They have been tracking cell phones forever, its an option with all carriers to track your family do you really think that is the only time it is used. The only reason there such a hype is because its Apple something for society to complain about.

    Here is something else to think about you know those discount cards you get for grocery stores they keep track of everything you buy and I bet you anything in the future it will affect your health care costs because of the food you buy.

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