Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 21st Apr 2011 21:59 UTC, submitted by Martin
Apple There's a bit of a stink going on - even in major media - about something iOS 4's been doing. Apparently, iOS 4 has been storing a list of locations and timestamps to a hidden, but readable file in a standard database format. The locations are triangulated using cell towers, and generally aren't as accurate as for instance GPS. Still, the file is stored without any form of protection on both your iPhone as well as your desktop.
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RE: Remember their 1984 ad? lol
by Not2Sure on Sun 24th Apr 2011 17:19 UTC in reply to "Remember their 1984 ad? lol"
Not2Sure
Member since:
2009-12-07

It is being sent to Apple. Every 24 hours a list is submitted off the phone to Apple servers since iOS 3.2. Android does it every few minutes since I think 1.6. Google servers appear to me to be receiving the 50 most recently connected cellsites and the MACs of the last few hundred broadcasted wifi SSID. Dunno about Apple, but the list in cosolidated.db seems to be retaining a year's worth.

They are using your hardware and your movements as the largest dynamic, for-profit illicit sensor network in history and both are using a 2 line sentence buried in a EULA to say they have user assent. The extent to which either Google or Apple are anonymising the data collected upstream is not known to me.

This is not a new effort for Google, they tried it earlier with their Google Street View fleet of vehicles. As they went out snapping images they also were intruding into any available wifi network and recording signal strength as they passed by in order to attempt "wifi triangulation". As interesting as it is unethical. They are trying to create landmarking indexes in order to sell or give it away as a service on their respective platforms for "located" directed advertising. Google earlier blamed an errant unnamed engineer and the investigation didn't even levy a single penalty (lol). Now I'm guessing they believe they are covered by some EULA so won't have to come up with a fall guy this time around.

Why is this being so misunderstood? Is it because a few fanboi "tech sites" that have no engineers on staff say it isn't?

Why do you think Apple has not said one word in response about this? I'm guessing because the lawyers know they are in bad, bad place and especially in Europe where privacy laws are actually enforced. Al Franken will hopefully put Jobs or Cook in front of a committee panel with subpoena power and ask him directly but I doubt anything more than the letter already sent will happen. I think in Europe the real issue will be whether or not Apple has transferred or sold the data collected to another corporate entity in violation of consumer rights.

Borderline absurd. What's it going to take? Packet captures that fanboi journalists can't understand anyway? Even days after it has been shown to be the case the headline for this dedicated os news site still says, "not being sent to Apple". Tech journalism is absurdly bad anymore. Seems pretty much limited to rewording press releases and covering paper launches of products with lip gloss "reviews".

It is not without humor that what appears to have most (probably male) iOS users concerned is not the loss of privacy without compensation to corporate interests but the fact that a divorce lawyer with a subpoena could get the information rather easily, let alone a tech-savy spouse/partner since the file resides on a probably shared, easily accessible filesystem.

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