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[3]: why wait?
by galvanash on Fri 22nd Apr 2011 00:24 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: why wait?"
galvanash
Member since:
2006-01-25

Is Android open in your opinion (serious question, opinions seem to vary on that)? It does exactly the same thing, only difference it is implemented sanely - it is limited to 50 fixes.

https://github.com/packetlss/android-locdump

It does not get wiped nor does it expire though (it will prune the data during updates, but not when nothing is happening), so you can use it to figure out he last 50 towers a phone contacted... Even if the phone has been off for an extended period of time.

My point is only that keeping track of stuff like this for the purposes of faster location fixing is not inherently evil - there is a valid reason to do it. It's just in Apple's case they either have a bug (it should be clearing out old data but it isn't) or they are doing it on purpose. Their eventual solution to the problem will make it clear which one it is.

Hanlon's Razor - "Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity"

Edited 2011-04-22 00:32 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 6

RE[4]: why wait?
by kragil on Fri 22nd Apr 2011 00:42 in reply to "RE[3]: why wait?"
kragil Member since:
2006-01-04

Android is not one singular thing. It can be open and fairly closed.

If you run a community build rom like Cyanogenmod on your phone you can be more sure that there are no hidden surprises like this.

Reply Parent Score: 4

RE[5]: why wait?
by galvanash on Fri 22nd Apr 2011 00:55 in reply to "RE[4]: why wait?"
galvanash Member since:
2006-01-25

Um... Cyanogenmod uses the same code to do location caching as Android proper... References to cache.cell and cache.wifi are all over the Cyanogenmod git repo. What was your point again?

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[4]: why wait?
by JAlexoid on Fri 22nd Apr 2011 13:24 in reply to "RE[3]: why wait?"
JAlexoid Member since:
2009-05-19

Is Android open in your opinion (serious question, opinions seem to vary on that)? It does exactly the same thing, only difference it is implemented sanely - it is limited to 50 fixes.

https://github.com/packetlss/android-locdump

Not only sanely, but as secure as possible. You need a rooted device to get to the data. I hope that iOS has some protection against leaking that data.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[5]: why wait?
by Not2Sure on Fri 22nd Apr 2011 20:21 in reply to "RE[4]: why wait?"
Not2Sure Member since:
2009-12-07

Yes, because Android phones are generally not rooted the day of release and pretty much sold with that notion ("their openeness") as a feature, or whatever.

I can't really think of a genuine reason why this geolocation data is useful as a local cache. Ever. Can one of you fanboi apologists for Google/Apple please provide a use case where it makes sense to keep track of previous locations at an OS level?

I could see where some applications might make use of last known locations for ease-of-use features but I'm pretty sure App Store and Android marketplaces would reject out of hand any app that stored this information without first securing the user's permission.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[5]: why wait?
by galvanash on Sat 23rd Apr 2011 04:56 in reply to "RE[4]: why wait?"
galvanash Member since:
2006-01-25

Not only sanely, but as secure as possible. You need a rooted device to get to the data. I hope that iOS has some protection against leaking that data.


you need root to get to it on iOS as well... It's the whole backed-up-copy-on-the-computer that everyone is going gaga over. Android doesn't seem to have that particular issue.

Reply Parent Score: 3