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IT News Thread, iPhone keeps record of everywhere you go in Other News; It's not your phone. It's Steve's phone. iPhone keeps record of everywhere you go | Technology | guardian.co.uk...
  1. #1

    mattx's Avatar
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    iPhone keeps record of everywhere you go

    Last edited by mattx; 20th April 2011 at 06:40 PM.

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    Norphy's Avatar
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    petewarden/iPhoneTracker @ GitHub

    That's the app in question.

    This is ****ing disturbing. What on earth are they gathering that data for? What's being done with it? I'm not sure I want my iPhone any more :|

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    synaesthesia's Avatar
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    Can't say I'm entirely surprised - but in Apple's defence (yes, I do it occasionally!) is that really that different to *anyone's* phone? OK that requires triangulation from signal strengths but that's just a slightly more direct way of doing it.

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    mb2k01's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Norphy View Post
    petewarden/iPhoneTracker @ GitHub

    That's the app in question
    Stupid question time... how do you install that app? Does the iPhone need to be jailbroken?

  5. #5

    TechMonkey's Avatar
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    It's an OSX application.
    The data isn't that useful as it seems to be wildly inaccurate at times. I've not extensively referenced the places and my diary but there are some very out there responses. I'm not sure how much that is down to the quick and dirty nature of the app or the inaccuracy of mast triangulation. Plus not sure what the colour coding and size of the blobs represent.

    Mixture of quite cool and scary to me though. Interesting as well it was implemented in an update.

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    FN-GM's Avatar
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    I have loaded the software on my Macbook. It tells me my iPhone was in Scotland at one point. I know that this isnt true. Isnt that accurate.

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    Norphy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by synaesthesia View Post
    Can't say I'm entirely surprised - but in Apple's defence (yes, I do it occasionally!) is that really that different to *anyone's* phone? OK that requires triangulation from signal strengths but that's just a slightly more direct way of doing it.
    Phones may know roughly where you are at any point in time but as far as I know, the iPhone is the only one that's recording and storing this information for retrieval.


    Quote Originally Posted by FN-GM View Post
    I have loaded the software on my Macbook. It tells me my iPhone was in Scotland at one point. I know that this isnt true. Isnt that accurate.
    Maybe not but it still seems more accurate than inaccurate. It's tracked the trips I've made up to Scotland, the fact that I took the M6 up and the A1/M1 down. It's tracked me in France. It's recorded that I spend most of my time either at home, at work or at my girlfriend's place. None of this is exactly classified information but frankly it's neither Apple's or Vodafone's business and I still want to know what they're up to.
    Last edited by Norphy; 20th April 2011 at 09:32 PM.

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    webman's Avatar
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    If you still don't see a problem with this, consider these points:

    • You are suspected in a crime, the police demand and seize your phone. They can legally demand that you had over the key to any encrypted information that you have, under threat of imprisonment, so you can bet your life they can demand this information in the name of evidence.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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?


    Read more from the blog post I know what you did last summer (iPhone GPS Tracking).

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    nephilim's Avatar
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    Aside from the first point being illegal without a subpoena from a Crown Court Judge, the rest are valid points.

  10. #10

    john's Avatar
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    So for all our iPhone lovers, are we still in-love with our iPhones as much now? or will you all be coming to the lovely Windows phone land?

  11. #11

    nephilim's Avatar
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    or even android land?

  12. #12

    maniac's Avatar
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    Or just forget smartphones all together and get yourself a basic phone that just does what it needs to do, i.e make phone calls and send text messages.

    Mike.

  13. Thanks to maniac from:

    mjs_mjs (21st April 2011)

  14. #13

    TechMonkey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by webman View Post
    If you still don't see a problem with this, consider these points:

    • You are suspected in a crime, the police demand and seize your phone. They can legally demand that you had over the key to any encrypted information that you have, under threat of imprisonment, so you can bet your life they can demand this information in the name of evidence.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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?


    Read more from the blog post I know what you did last summer (iPhone GPS Tracking).
    Point 4 I could give you but even then, anyone with a smartphone that does not put some form of security on it is asking for trouble. The others would be in for a tough time to be accepted as evidence. Going back to my previous post, as I haven't looked at the actual file yet, I'm not sure if it is the quick and dirty nature of the application but to use the data it provides you, you get a week long time window and the accuracy can not be assured, so if time and place can not be accurately determined then as evidence it is useless. As a rough guide to activities then it could be used, so heading to make believe land for a second, it could be used as cause that I have been hanging around an area a lot so could have been casing the area for a robbery or terrorist plot, or using your divorce story it could be used to ask why there was a lot of activity in a certain area (not sure how much power divorce proceedings have, think seizing phone logs would be overstepping).
    Remember it is using cell towers for location information not GPS. We have seriously bigger problems if this kind of evidence is seriously being used.

    Plus I am confused about when it logs. I have a week where I have one small position. Yes I was probably there but I find it hard to believe I was only there for the whole week. Same again a different week, a cluster in a few towns along but nothing else. I could well have visited there but not only there and it covers the whole town, I would only have gone in to one place on the edge and out again.

    It is a warning where things could to lead to & I will be interested in the reasoning for doing it, but I don't think there is a huge panic at the moment. Plus, I still think it has a slight cool edge.

  15. #14
    markcuk's Avatar
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    probrably has something to do with find my iphone using mobile me

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    Norphy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by webman View Post
    [*]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.[*]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.
    As uncomfortable as I am with this whole thing, those two points aren't really valid as the phone doesn't appear to be using the GPS unit to do the tracking. It's using the cell towers instead which are far too inaccurate for these two scenarios.

    So for all our iPhone lovers, are we still in-love with our iPhones as much now? or will you all be coming to the lovely Windows phone land?
    or even android land?
    No to all three questions. Windows Phone is still to much of a "V1" product in my opinion and I trust Google even less than I do Apple at the moment. That and I still have another seven months left on my contract.

    probrably has something to do with find my iphone using mobile me
    Presumably you're talking about the Find my iPhone feature? That's been in iOS since v3 which didn't have this tracking nonsense going on and it doesn't really work like that anyway. Find my iPhone appears to push a special email to the iPhone which activates the GPS which then reports the location to Apple. In any case, this app only shows you the data that's been backed up using iTunes, it shows you where you've been, not necessarily where you are now.
    Last edited by Norphy; 20th April 2011 at 10:41 PM.

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