For the last 10 months, Apple has secretly collected the geo locations for 100 million iPhone users and 15 million iPad users. Wired published the story on Wednesday. They report that Apple has not responded to a request for an explanation.
Apple may be in violation of the Wireless Communications and Public Safety Act which only allows telecom carriers to provide location data in an emergency.
Software investigators found a file called “consolidated.db” in Apple’s iOS 4 operating software that is a list of locations and time stamps.
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Investigators Peter Warden and Alasdair Allen said, “Ever since iOS 4 arrived, your device has been storing a long list of locations and time stamps. We’re not sure why Apple is gathering this data, but it’s clearly intentional, as the database is being restored across backups, and even device migrations.”
If you have a Mac running OS X 10.6 you can download your tracking data with an open source program Warden wrote called “iPhone Tracker.” Plug in your iPhone or iPad through USB and download the tracking data to an interactive map.
One Wired reader commented, “I exported my data. What’s frightening to me is that my iPhone shows that I’ve spent time in northern Las Vegas. I’ve never been there in my life.”
For more info or to get the iPhone Tracker: http://petewarden.github.com/iPhoneTracker/