Users angry to learn that iPhone is watching them
iPhone tracking owners' location without their knowledge, consent
The Web site iPhone Tracker says that Apple devices appear to be tracking their owners' locations and storing data about people's whereabouts without their knowledge. This seemingly - and totally unauthorized surveillance started in June of 2010, when the latest version of Apple's mobile operating system was released.
As this graphic suggests, a futuristic, totalitarian government isn't necessary for 24/7 surveillance -- merely a willingness to buy and use Apple products such as the iPhone and iPad.
LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - This was revealed by two researchers, identified as Alasdair Allan and Pete Warden, who say they discovered a hidden tracking file and posted it out of concern for users. Apple has not responded to the allegations.
Allen and Warden have posted a program online that will let any iPhone user see a map of their location over time, going back to June, when iOS 4.0 was released.
The researchers say this data is stored on a person's iPhone or 3G-enabled iPad and on computers that are synced with those devices. There's no evidence, they say, and that the data is also transmitted to Apple as it's collected.
"Cell phone providers collect similar data almost inevitably as part of their operations, but it's kept behind their firewall. It normally requires a court order to gain access to it, whereas this is available to anyone who can get their hands on your phone or computer," they write.
"By passively logging your location without your permission, Apple [has] made it possible for anyone from a jealous spouse to a private investigator to get a detailed picture of your movements."
The location data appear to be collected at random intervals over time, using cell phone towers to triangulate approximate locations. The researchers say the data is then stored in a file named "consolidated.db," and that it's "unclear" why Apple would collect this information.
"One guess might be that they have new features in mind that require a history of your location, but that's pure speculation. The fact that it's transferred across devices when you restore or migrate is evidence the data-gathering isn't accidental," they write on the iPhone Tracker site.
These allegations have rightfully inspired outrage for many Apple users. Sam Biddle, an editor at Gizmodo, used the downloadable program to map out his recent whereabouts, which he says was a frightening experience.
"This is a map of everywhere I've been for the last months. Everywhere," he writes on that tech site. "I didn't carry around a tracking device. The FBI isn't sending goons in unmarked vans to track me. All I did was use an iPhone."
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Pope Benedict XVI's Prayer Intentions for January 2013
General Intention: The Faith of Christians. That in this Year of Faith Christians may deepen their knowledge of the mystery of Christ and witness joyfully to the gift of faith in him.
Missionary Intention: Middle Eastern Christians. That the Christian communities of the Middle East, often discriminated against, may receive from the Holy Spirit the strength of fidelity and perseverance.
Keywords: iPhone, tracking, surveillance, privacy violation
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