Thursday, April 21, 2011

iSpy

If you’re not wild about other people knowing where you are all the time, you might want to ditch your iPhone. Sam Biddle at TPM’s Gizmodo has the details.

It turns out that your iPhone is keeping a record of everywhere you’ve been since June. This data is stored on your phone (or iPad) and computer, easily available to anyone who gets their hands on it. Why? Apple won’t say. We’re creeped out.

The enormous privacy startle, apparently enabled by this summer’s iOS 4 release, was discovered by two security researchers, one of whom claims he was an Apple employee for five years. They’re equally puzzled and disturbed by the location collection: “By passively logging your location without your permission, Apple have made it possible for anyone from a jealous spouse to a private investigator to get a detailed picture of your movements,” they explain. All it would take to crack the information out of your iOS device is an easy jailbreak. On your computer, the information can be opened as easily as JPEG using the mapping software that the security experts have made for download.

I know my little five-year-old Samsung has a GPS tracker in it, so it’s no surprise that Apple would leap way beyond that with this real-time tracker.

Yes, it’s creepy, but the ironic thing is that it isn’t the government that is doing it. First of all, they’re not that capable of it; we’re talking about a government that is still using Windows XP, f’r Chrissake. Second, here in America it’s going to be the corporations that are doing the spying, not the Feds.

That reminds me of a moment from one of my favorite films, The President’s Analyst, starring James Coburn, from 1967:

HT to TPM for the post title.