Your Apple device knows where youve been, and keeps a log

In a recent article, Alasdair Allan is discussing the finding that Apple devices powered by iOS 4+ (iPhones, iPads) are recording a log of your location (including a time stamp). This would come as a surprised to most users. It is conceivable that a small amount of data could be stored to speed up GPS fix, or to perform a mildly accurate location look-up for social networking services. However, the log discovered can have “tens of thousands” of locations records.But this is it all: the file containing this information is called “consolidated.db”  and is *unencrypted*, which means that it can be read without any trouble – if someone gets their hands on it.

The file is on the phone and in all backups. You can encrypt your iTunes backups to protect this information on your computer. Wireless carriers also track device movements to a degree, but It is more likely that someone will lose their phone than a carrier lose this data (although carriers have been widely hacked before).

At the moment, there has been no reported misuse of that file, but one has to wonder what its purpose is, and why so much data can be gathered. If you are curious, Peter Warden has built an app that visualizes your location file.

This article was filed in Homepage > Apple > Cellphones > Top Stories and was tagged with Apple Inc, iOS, iPad, iPhone, privacy and Security.
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