Apple’s iPhone keeps record of everywhere you go, security researchers have revealed. Since the update of iOS to version 4, iPhone secretly tracks your location and saves it in a hidden file, which is copied to the PC whenever your computer gets sync with your device.
The hidden file contains data about device’s latitude and longitude along with the timestamp. To extract the data from the file residing on your PC – you just need a simple application, to access it directly from the iPhone – you need to jailbreak it first.
Pete Warden, one of the members of this research team said:
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,
The team also looked for similar tracking code in Android phones, but was unable to find anything.
We haven’t come across any instances of other phone manufacturers doing this.
A representative from Privacy International Group said:
This is a worrying discovery. Location is one of the most sensitive elements in anyone’s life – just think where people go in the evening. The existence of that data creates a real threat to privacy. The absence of notice to users or any control option can only stem from an ignorance about privacy at the design stage.
Experts are still not sure why this data is stored because it does not seem to be transmitted back to Apple. It is assumed Apple might have new features in the upcoming iOS devices for which they require a history of user’s location.