IT News Thread, iPhone keeps record of everywhere you go in Other News; Originally Posted by TechMonkey
Does mean that other companies could be storing this information local at their servers.
yes, all ...
22nd April 2011, 11:15 AM #31
yes, all the phone companies track locations of telephone hardware on their systems. The police already use this information to put people (phones) at scenes of crimes.
Originally Posted by TechMonkey
A friend of mine is a support technician for a serious crimes dept, they regularly ask phone companies for information once they have seized telephones.
The difference here is that the data is stored on the device itself.
22nd April 2011, 11:34 AM #32
And do what with it that they can't already do? This is no different to the info they can already gather by tracking your phone location with any phone, Apple or not, "Smart" or not, just by asking your provider. And I really do mean "no different" as the info gathered appears to be locations as plotted by phone tower, not by GPS.
Originally Posted by webman
The info gathered is by no means accurate enough for that.
- You make a claim on your insurance, but they think you may have been going too fast. They demand this file as proof of your location and time stamp (which can be used to factor velocity and trajectory) and refuse to pay out on the insurance without it.
Again, the info gathered is by no means accurate enough for that. It can be used to say you were in a certain area of town, maybe (so leave your phone behind before visiting the red light district). But it won't know which shops you went into.
- You are undergoing divorce proceedings, accused of extra curricular activities. The opposing lawyer requests to submit this log into evidence of your whereabouts. Lets say you’ve been to an ‘adult’ store, it bears no relevance in this case, but you can be sure it would be used to bring your credibility into question.
Again, given the accuracy problem this isn't a dead cert but sure it is a concern. One out of 4 ain't bad, as Meatloaf didn't say. But your rucksack didn't contain any other clues as to where you lived that wouldn't make you vulnerable to this problem if the bug in the phone was fixed? Because what you describe is by no means a new thing. Hopefully you'd be just as concerned to change your locks at home and get your keycard invalidated whether or not you lost your phone too. Because you should be.
- You lose your rucksack, it has your phone, your wallet and your house keys in it. If you’re unlucky enough not to have any security on your phone then the person who has your house keys and work’s keyswipe card now also has a log that shows two clear clusters of activity around your workplace and home, they know where they keys are for and where they keypass works. Fancy spending a few hours explaining to your boss why they just had 4 laptops stolen and yours is the only keycard used to access the building that night?
That article is based on a few key ideas that are incorrect.
There *is* an issue here. It absolutely needs to be fixed. I'm not denying Apple have dropped a clanger here, they truly have. But lets be clear about what it is and what it is not.
Looks like Android phones do something similar, though Google are a lot more sensible about how the data is kept/managed.
Last edited by Roberto; 22nd April 2011 at 05:00 PM.
22nd April 2011, 11:35 AM #33
if it was just used to aid the gps why not only keep records of the last say 10 towers then wipe it to aid gps dosent need location data from last week
Originally Posted by TechMonkey
22nd April 2011, 11:51 AM #34
Other devices do track your location. Android smartphones from HTC have a phone finder feature which enables you to find out where your phone is via HTCsense.com.
Originally Posted by SYNACK
Windows Phone 7 smartphones also maintain a database on the phone itself, although you can turn the location tracking features off.
How does Microsoft provide location services?
To provide location services, Microsoft assembles and maintains a database that records the location of certain mobile phone towers and WiFi access points. These data points are used to calculate and provide an approximate location of the user's device by comparing the WiFi access points and cell towers that a user's device can detect to the location database, which contains correlations of known WiFi access points and cell towers to observed latitudes and longitudes. What WiFi data elements do you collect from mobile devices using Microsoft's location services?
The WiFi access point elements observed and information collected from mobile devices includes the following:
- BSSID (the MAC address of the WiFi access point)
- Signal strength
- Randomly generated unique device ID
If GPS is available on the mobile device, Microsoft will also collect the following:
- Observed latitude and longitude
- Direction and speed
Last edited by Arthur; 22nd April 2011 at 11:55 AM.
22nd April 2011, 12:32 PM #35
I don't know why, but Apple-haters seem to suffer from confirmation bias more than any other group of people. The media also love anything Apple related because it is guaranteed to generate page hits and therefore ad revenue. PC Mag's John C. Dvorak is particularly good at this, with his Daily Mail-style articles.
Originally Posted by Tunster
There was a similar story a while back about iPhone's recording your location via the EXIF data in your photos. Many websites conveniently forgot to mention that other smartphones and GPS-enabled digital cameras also do this.
Why iPhone Photos Are Dangerous
Have you even used your iPhone to snap a picture of your children playing in the park? Perhaps you've taken photos of various things around your own home to share with your friends on Facebook, Flickr or MySpace. Unless you have disabled Location Services on your iPhone's camera you are exposing yourself, your children, and your family to a largely unnoticed danger.
Don't believe me? Take a look at one of the features in the popular and freely available Picasa software.
The reason is because the iPhone has a built in GPS and when you take a photo with it, by default, the phone will store GPS coordinates inside the image file! To do this the iPhone writes the coordinates to what is known as an EXIF tag.
If the photos of your precious children, or the $250,000 Porsche you have parked in your garage at home fell into the wrong hands, then someone could use this EXIF data to find out exactly where the photo was taken. I am sure you can work out where the danger in having such data exposed to the public like that lies. (Source
22nd April 2011, 08:06 PM #36
After this week's disturbing revelation that iPhones and 3G iPads keep a log of location data based on cell tower and WiFi base station triangulation, developer Mike Castleman set out to demonstrate that Android smartphones store the exact same type of data for its location services
. While the data is harder to access for the average user, it's as trivial to access for a knowledgeable hacker or forensics expert.
Castleman suspected that his Android device collected similar information. "Following the latest internet outrage to the revelation that iPhone has a cache for its location service, I decided to have look what my Android device caches for the same function," he wrote in a note on GitHub. He put together an application similar to Warden's based on open source cache parsing code, which extracts data from "cache.cell" and "cache.wifi" and displays it on a map.
Like iOS, Android stores these databases in an area that is only accessible by root. To access the caches, an Android device needs to be "rooted," which removes most of the system's security features. Unlike iOS, though, Android phones aren't typically synced with a computer, so the files would need to be extracted from a rooted device directly. This distinction makes the data harder to access for the average user, but easy enough for an experienced hacker or forensic expert.
A security researcher revealed to the Wall Street Journal that Google is also collecting a wide variety of location data from Android devices which could lead to privacy breaches. "According to new research by security analyst Samy Kamkar, an HTC Android phone collected its location every few seconds and transmitted the data to Google at least several times an hour
," the WSJ reported.
While Google is also using the data to improve its internal cell tower and WiFi location database or to improve call routing like Apple, it also uses the data to improve Google Maps and collect information about traffic patterns. The problem with Google's data collection is that unlike Apple, the information sent to Google contains a unique identification number that can be tied to a particular phone. While technically anonymous, that number could potentially be used to trace back to an individual user.
22nd April 2011, 08:20 PM #37
I don't mind posting this up because it does not show anything of any use to anyone, when you zoom in to the map it don't really show you anything in particular especially because the phone may of been in a car or something at time and because I have been running the OS 4 for some time now I have been to a fair few places.
But, It does show the parts I have been in the UK for Example other than in and around where I live I have visited London, Preston, Northampton, Stoke on Trent, Reading etc.
22nd April 2011, 10:17 PM #38
- Rep Power
Thanks for posting it. That information above shows nothing as you say because it doesn't include the timestamps. As long as this data doesn't touch Apple servers, then I'm happy. With reference to Arthur's post, I'm not surprised at all. I'd be more worried as an Android user and they're a lot more of them! Google are much more hungry with personal data, and this isn't the first time either for them (Wi-Fi data when they were taking their street map photos). I'm sure they're collecting data while I use gMail too, but the sacrifice for using one of the best online e-mail services cannot be missed.
Originally Posted by EduTech
As long as my iPhone/iPad geo data doesn't move, I'd be happy. It's just another typical Apple melodrama from people who like to dislike them and want to put them in flames. Especially when they're continuing to take market share and grow in popularity.
22nd April 2011, 10:32 PM #39
From running the Windows app it seems to rely on a backup file from iTunes.. cos it immediately loaded a map with lots of little dots roughly near my location and a few I've been near.. but it also showed dots for places I have certainly NOT been - like Central London and Northern Ireland!!
I plugged the iPhone in again, and it did not refresh the info - UNTIL I told iTunes to take a backup of my phone.. THEN it showed up in the map..
22nd April 2011, 10:44 PM #40
If you look at the image i attached above, the other random dots that it seems to have placed around i would imagine they are probably telephone masts that it has picked up on in and around the journey that i have been on to get to a certain location.
I imagine, if you triangulate them then it could potentially pick something up.. but i aint entirely convinced.
22nd April 2011, 10:48 PM #41
Im convinced this is just the usual scaremongering and is grossly over-hyped by the media..
22nd April 2011, 11:59 PM #42
I don't mind the information staying on the phone if it does speed up maps etc. I have an HTC Desire running android 2.2 - as i have gps turned off it when first open maps it thinks i am in the town where i live when i could be anywhere in the country.
If it stayed only on the phone i wouldn't think it was an issue. but the fact it can be transferred on the Iphone and then opened up fairly easily plus the fact apple track where you have been is a bit disturbing.
Although in a way Google do it with there targetted ads from what you have search - for example i searched for comptia linux + training book the other day and all i seem to be getting ads wise if different people offering training.
23rd April 2011, 12:34 AM #43
Google are doing that more than most may think, it is like when you say something in a post on here for example the adverts will reflect that post, they are changing the Gmail Inbox which is going to look at what email's you have read and then give you adverts aimed at what was contained within the emails you have read.
Originally Posted by glennda
23rd April 2011, 09:33 AM #44
And if my bag with all my keys get stolen... I'll track them down using me.com before Said person works out where I live!!
No one seems as fussed about geotagging photos and uploading them to the Internet!!
23rd April 2011, 09:34 AM #45
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