Your iPhone is Tracking your Privacy

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Alasdair Allan and Pete Warden, security researchers, announced that the iPhone and the cellular version of the iPad track the user’s current location and save information regarding latitude, longitude and a timestamp to a hidden file, "consolidated.db". This file is stored in the device and is copied to your computer during their synchronization.

The researchers claim that the stored data is available in unencrypted and unprotected form, and worry about the users’ privacy. "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," said Pete Warden. Indeed, anyone who has access to your computer can use an application, created by the researchers, and see on a map your location at a specific time.

However, Apple has a legal right to store the information because terms and conditions for its iTunes program read as follows: "Apple and our partners and licensees may collect, use, and share precise location data, including the real-time geographic location of your Apple computer or device. This location data is collected anonymously in a form that does not personally identify you and is used by Apple and our partners and licensees to provide and improve location-based products and services. For example, we may share geographic location with application providers when you opt in to their location services."

Moreover,  there is no information that the collected data is transmitted to Apple, it is just stored in your device and computer. Those who want to be protected in a better way can encrypt the backups to eliminate the possibility of getting location data from their computer.


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3 Responses to “Your iPhone is Tracking your Privacy”

  1. Anita Says:

    The free app to read the data the Iphone saves to the computer can be downloaded from the following site http://petewarden.github.com/iPhoneTracker/

  2. trackerbuster Says:

    TrackerBuster!!!!

    This script is designed to “patch” the iPhone “bug” that makes it store user movement data.

    This will not harm your device in any form, it will just configure consolidated.db to auto purge via standard sql calls.

    No executable code or external program needed running on the iPhone.

    This patch IS USABLE on NOT JAILBROKEN devices too

    1st get the database:

    In JAILBROKEN devices just SCP/FTP to /var/root/Library/Caches/locationd and copy consolidated.db to your computer

    In NOT JAILBROKEN devices a method is proposed here using itunes backups to access the file:
    http://howto.wired.com/wiki/Find_Stored_iPhone_Location_Data_on_your_Computer

    Apply the patch to the database. The easy way is opening the file with a SQL browser, and import the TrackerBuster.sql

    Any SQL browser will do the job, but sometimes freeware is not easy to find in windows so I used and tested with the SQLite Database Browser over a PuppyLinux 5.2.5 liveCD

    In JAILBROKEN devices just SCP/FTP and copy the modified consolidated.db to to /var/root/Library/Caches/locationd

    In NOT JAILBROKEN devices restore from your last backup in iTunes once database is patched

    READY, your iPhone is not tracking your data anymore, with no programs running on the background.

    If you need to restore the tracking ability of the device just remove the file using the same methods

    Extended info in the script itself, just open it with any text or code editor

    TrackerBuster:

    http://www.megaupload.com/?d=XGCP8B4G

  3. Blog TUVPN.COM - Korea Accuses Google and Apple Says:

    […] we have already reported, Google and Apple store location data about their users. The companies can allegedly use this […]

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