Tag Archive | Alasdair Allan

The scoop: Apple’s iPhone is NOT storing your accurate location, and NOT storing history

The scoop: Apple’s iPhone is NOT storing your accurate location, and NOT storing history

by Peter Batty, GeoThought, April 24, 2011

So in my previous two posts I discussed how the data I was seeing in my iPhone location logs was actually not very accurate, and certainly didn’t reveal where I lived or worked or had stayed on my travels – beyond showing the cities I had been to, including general areas I had visited, as well as some I hadn’t. There had been some discussion that the data appeared to be, in a number of cases, the location of cell towers you had been in communication with, although in some cases locations were a long way from where you had been.

via geothought: The scoop: Apple’s iPhone is NOT storing your accurate location, and NOT storing history.

So actually, Apple isn’t recording your (accurate) iPhone location

So actually, Apple isn’t recording your (accurate) iPhone location

by Peter Batty, GeoThought, April 23, 2011

So over the past couple of days there has been mass hysteria, questions in Congress, etc, over the fact that Apple is apparently recording all the locations you’ve been to with your iPhone without telling you, and storing it without encryption. The news was broken by my friend Pete Warden at Where 2.0 last week and has escalated rapidly since then. As someone who publishes their location anyway (you can see where I am right now by checking the right hand panel on my blog) I was less concerned about this than many, though I agree that Apple should make it clear that they are recording this information and give you the option to turn it off, plus it should be stored more securely.

via geothought: So actually, Apple isn’t recording your (accurate) iPhone location.

Why Apple Tracker-Gate Is the Future of Journalism

Nancy Scola, TechPresident, April 22, 2011 – 11:27am

There have been some grumbling in tech circles ever since Apple tracker-gate broken that this was the worst kept secret the developer world. Everybody knew iOS devices were tracking your movements to and fro. But somehow Alasdair Allan and Pete Warden, a pair of programmers, put up on a post on O’Reilly Radar and now, suddenly, we have Sen. Al Franken and Rep. Ed Markey writing angry letters to Steve Jobs. But let me suggest that there’s an interesting wrinkle to what has gone down with Apple tracker-grate that has implications for everything from open source to open government to open data to the the political applications of mapping to, yes, the future of journalism.

For full text of the article via Why Apple Tracker-Gate Is the Future of Journalism | techPresident.

Investigators use iPhones to track owners’ movements

By Troy Wolverton, Updated: 04/21/2011 10:28:26 PM PDT

That iPhones and other Apple (AAPL) handheld gadgets keep track of their users’ movements may have been news to most users when it was publicly disclosed on Wednesday. But it wasn’t news to investigators who examine cellphones and other electronic devices for clues in criminal and other legal cases. Those investigators — and the software developers who make applications they use in their work — have known since at least last year that the iPhone has a hidden file on it that tracks its movements. Data gleaned from the file has been used in numerous investigations since forensics experts discovered it, those experts say.

Full text of the article via Investigators use iPhones to track owners’ movements – San Jose Mercury News.

Liberating My Data from the iPhone

by Sean Gorman, GeoIQ Blog, April 22, 2011

Like many of you I’ve been tracking all the “hub bub” about Pete Warden and Allisdair Allen’s iPhone location exploit. There has been not only sensationalist media hype, but also claims of this being old news. Having been a victim of media hype and not particularly having any privacy concerns around my iPhone – I liberated my iPhone location data (ok Justin actually did it) and uploaded it to GeoCommons. Seeing my tracks was pretty cool, but you can do that with Pete and Allisdairs clever package out of the box. I wanted to investigate how much of my privacy was actually revealed by the data. …

For full text of the article, visit: Liberating My Data from the iPhone.

Congress, FCC look into Apple tracking

By Kim Hart and Tony Romm, posted April 21, 2011

A hidden feature in the iPhone and iPad operating software that silently tracks consumers’ location has caught the attention of the FCC and Congress. An FCC official told POLITICO the agency is looking into the matter. On Wednesday, a study was released that found Apple’s popular devices were periodically tracking and storing users’ longitude and latitude coordinates along with time stamps.

For full text of the article, visit Congress, FCC look into Apple tracking – Kim Hart and Tony Romm – POLITICO.com.

Counterpoint: 3 Major Issues with the Latest iPhone Tracking “Discovery”

Posted on April 21, 2011 by Alex Levinson

Today, two researchers for O’Reilly media published an article claiming discovery of a hidden tracking system on the iOS 4 operating system. Using simple techniques, Alasdair Allan and Pete Warden extracted data off of an iOS version 4 device and wrote an open source software utility to effectively graph this data onto a map. As a fellow researcher, I champion their creativity and their development. As an expert in this field, I have three points of argument to raise.1 Apple is not collecting this data. And to suggest otherwise is completely misrepresenting Apple. ….

For full text of the article, visit 3 Major Issues with the Latest iPhone Tracking “Discovery” | Alex Levinson.

What your iPhone Knows About You

WSJ: What Your iPhone Knows About You

Two researchers have uncovered a secret file on iPhones that keeps a record of where the phone has been and when it was there — a file that is unencrypted and stored by default. The security experts, Alasdair Allan and Pete Warden, created a program that lets you see just what your phone knows of your whereabouts — and it’s a creepy sight.

For full text of the article, visit Wall Street Journal blog Digits by Jennifer Valentino-DeVries, posted April 20, 2011.

NYT: 3G Apple iOS Devices Secretly Storing Users’ Location Data

A hidden file on the Apple iPhone 4 and iPad 3G has been found to store location information. This privacy glitch was discovered by two programmers, Alasdair Allan and Pete Warden, who presented their findings at the location-centric O’Reilly Where 2.0 conference in San Francisco. The file, which is called “consolidated.db,” keeps track of GPS data on 3G-enabled Apple devices and regularly updates itself with a user’s location. … Information that is stored on the phone is also sent to the iTunes application when a user syncs or backs up an iPhone or 3G iPad.

For full text of the article, visit the New York Times Technology blog Bits by Nick Bilton, posted April 20, 2011.

See also: Sen. Al Franken asks Apple why its phones are storing records of location data

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