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  1. #1

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    Default iPhone's are keeping track of everywhere you've been

    Here's an interesting news story. Using Mac app iPhone Tracker you can see on a map everywhere your iPhone has been, and at what time. You don't even need to connect your phone, it gets the data that has been transferred during iTunes syncs and displays it on a map for you to see.

    Apple have some explaining to do. I'm not one of those crazy people concerned about their privacy, and I'm not concerned about somebody stealing my computer and getting access to this data, but what I am concerned about is what this data is being used for. Sure, I could really care less, and I know I'm not being specifically targeted or anything, but the fact that we're finding out about this now (I think it's been pointed out the EULA has this somewhere in its 200+ pages) is a little shifty.

    Here is the link again, check it out for yourself and see where you've been! The link also has a guide on how to delete the data but it seems very difficult and I don't even know how to follow that tutorial without making a mistake.

    It's ironic because Apple are always on about privacy and location data. FFS, I'm always getting annoyed by apps asking for permission to use my location, and here are Apple just taking it without any iPhone user knowing.

    Here's an example pic:
    :P

  2. #2

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    Saw this this morning. Its pretty crazy to see where you have been as well as where you live.
    Not sure I'm too worried about it though.
    Something about Jimby.

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by leon View Post
    Saw this this morning. Its pretty crazy to see where you have been as well as where you live.
    Not sure I'm too worried about it though.
    Yeah I'm thinking the same thing, not too bothered, but still kinda freaky.

    Anybody think Apple are going to come out with a statement in response to this? I'm not a fan of news networks bashing/overpraising Apple but I think this would finally make some good Apple news, but no doubt they'd find a way to push it out of proportion. I don't know, I just don't want to see Apple get away with a ''It's clearly stated in page 176 of the EULA'' or something like that and having that be the end of it because nobody cares.
    :P

  4. #4

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    I dont see this as anythng different to the way your computer currently tracks you. Web browsers are constantly storing information on your computer and sending back to Google et al on your browsing habits. Its amazing how fast and how accurate they can build a profile on you and your habits that is then used to target you for advertising.
    http://twitter.com/nevbetts

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  5. #5

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    Meh. It shows that I'm predominantly active in Canberra and I've been to Sydney, the south coast and the ski fields. Somehow though it missed the 2weeks I spent driving around Victoria not that long ago (not a single hit in the entire state).

    While everyone is jumping up and down about this one must put into perspective that it's only one small part of a heap of data that's collected about you every day. Your phone knows where you are but so do the phone companies. If my phone knows this much about me, imagine what Telstra/Vodaphone/optus know.

    There's also the flip side of this in that if you are ever wrongly accused of something you could possibly use a tool like this to prove you were somewhere else at the time.

    It's just a tool.
    This opinion intentionally left blank.

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by nbetts View Post
    I dont see this as anythng different to the way your computer currently tracks you. Web browsers are constantly storing information on your computer and sending back to Google et al on your browsing habits. Its amazing how fast and how accurate they can build a profile on you and your habits that is then used to target you for advertising.
    Okay, but it doesn't track your located and even if it did, it would be one place: Your desk. This however is showing a map of where your iPhone has been, where you've been, and stores it on your computer. It's a privacy issue not only because of people trying to target you for advertising but because it's incredibly easy for somebody to find out where you've been. Maybe a suspicious husband? All they'd have to do is google iPhone tracking and I'm sure they'd find there way onto this application. Copy the backup onto a USB and your done. Maybe it's not that much of an issue for us but how many people are aware this is possible for somebody to do, even without access to the phone?

  7. #7

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    Turn on encrypted backups. Then no-one can read the data.

    It's not like this is something you can't do anything about. At least now you know it's there unlike all the other crap that collected about you that you don't know about.
    This opinion intentionally left blank.

  8. #8

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    Its not real accurate but it does show the general area where you were, city level accuracy id say.

    Bit odd that its there though
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  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by bartron View Post
    Turn on encrypted backups. Then no-one can read the data.

    It's not like this is something you can't do anything about. At least now you know it's there unlike all the other crap that collected about you that you don't know about.
    That isn't the point. The issue is people don't know that the iPhone is tracking their location. If Apple let people know instead of hiding it more people would use encrypted backups.

    ---------- Post added at 08:53 AM ---------- Previous post was at 08:52 AM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by mac_man_luke View Post
    Its not real accurate but it does show the general area where you were, city level accuracy id say.

    Bit odd that its there though
    It almost got me right down to the street :/
    :P

  10. #10

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    It thinks I've been to Tailem Bend (never have) but my house didn't even come up as a blip. Accuracy isn't great.

  11. #11

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    I reckon it's pretty cool, hahah

    North East USA:


    Out and About Around Melbourne:


    Shame I've only got 2 months of info. Had to restore my iPhone whilst in the USA

  12. #12

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    There's a bit of inaccuracy in the app here, but I'm putting that down to it somehow finding backups of another iPhone (I keep backups of mum's machine here) and combining its data with mine. There are a few roads off to holiday places only she's been to that're well-represented.

  13. #13
    Steve_D's Avatar Steve_D is offline Hold on.... Let me Google that for you.

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    For those people that are jumping up and down about the amount of information and that Apple never told you that they would be tracking your movements with the phone thats not entirely true.

    Its in the EULA, its just so long that no one actually bothers to read it all.

    As for the data collected its randomly gathered location data.
    If you use Facebook, Twitter, Google, Foursquare, Places, Instagram, Safari, Angry Birds Bing or generally anything to do with a phone at all. Then more information than this is gathered about you every time your phone pings back to the network.

    Hell i used to work for Optus many years ago and the level of detail we could gather about a customer back then from basic cell tower location and usage logs was staggering, imagine how much more detailed that is now, especially considering that people willingly log into places to tell everyone what they are doing.

    Time to stop with the Big Brother is watching you crap.

    If you don't like it the simple solution is this...

    Last edited by Steve_D; 21st April 2011 at 10:42 AM.

  14. #14

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    I don't think ''It's in the EULA'' is an excuse at all apart from Apple to cover their ass in court. The fact that nobody reads it should be enough reason that it isn't good enough to have it in there.

    Look, I don't want to make a fuss and to be honest I'm not quite bothered, you can track me all you like. But if I had the option to disable it in settings, I would.

    I don't like these ''it's not a big deal, it's the internet'' responses at all, even though in a sense they're correct what Apple is doing is just wrong. They shouldn't be collecting data from iPhone's without your permission, because they're not being used for something we approve of, otherwise they'd have an opt out!

    Saw this in a Gizmodo article on the subject:
    Update 2: Google has declined to comment on the regard as to the exact nature of their locational data collection.

    Why? Why not just tell us? If you want me to believe it's not a big deal then tell me what the fuck your using my location for. Same goes for Apple. It's unacceptable. Seems it started with iOS 4. I'm sorry I must have missed the keynote where the first big feature was: We're tracking everywhere your going and your not going to find out until 6 months later!

    No wonder iOS gets slower after every release. Wonder what other shit they've put in there that I don't know about.
    :P

  15. #15
    Steve_D's Avatar Steve_D is offline Hold on.... Let me Google that for you.

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    If google was to release its location data usage then Android users would be in for a rude shock.

    Dont be evil my ass

  16. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by Stez View Post
    That isn't the point. The issue is people don't know that the iPhone is tracking their location. If Apple let people know instead of hiding it more people would use encrypted backups.
    It is the point....the point being that at least you have access and can see what is being tracked.

    If you thought you could anonymously travel the country and still have a device in your pocket for people to reach you on then you are naive to think that the information used in order for your phone to work can't be tracked. The reason someone is able to call your phone no matter where you are is because the phone companies know where your phone is in order to call it. Has been like that since the inception of mobile telecommunications.

    For all we know the info Apple is collecting on the device is just part of enhancing the accuracy/speed of location services. Why ping mobile phone towers all the time for location info if you've already done that before and can just recall it from an internal database. How do you think iPhone GPS gets your initial location so fast?
    This opinion intentionally left blank.

  17. #17
    Steve_D's Avatar Steve_D is offline Hold on.... Let me Google that for you.

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    Well said Bartron

  18. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by half goon half god View Post
    It thinks I've been to Tailem Bend (never have) but my house didn't even come up as a blip. Accuracy isn't great.
    It tracks the cell towers you've connected to not your GPS coordinates.

  19. #19
    Steve_D's Avatar Steve_D is offline Hold on.... Let me Google that for you.

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    Exactly and it uses these towers to do its triangulation of where you are located when using the GPS app.

    The data collected here is no different to the information your bank collects every time you use your card.
    they log your card number, location of the transaction and the amount of the transaction.

    The same can be said for the data on the iPhone. They keep a log of phone towers that you access. Then they send that data to Apple. Apple then notice that there are blind spots in the location data and they start to complain to the providers to fix these issues or risk loosing their contracts.

    Because we all know when your call drops out its ALWAYS the iPhones fault first and NEVER the provider.

    So believe it or not this data is actually benefitting the customers. So much for the conspiracy theorists.

    Oh yeah an ALL phones do this, its just front page news when Apple do it.

  20. #20

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    This app is way too cool.

    oh, the outrage!
    Is this really a surprise? what did the winers think was happening when they used the Google Maps app, whereis or turned Location Services on, really.
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