iPhone Logging of Locations a Bug? -Not!

Error!, Error! Error!

On Wednesday a couple of clever guys released that iPhones were logging the locations of the phones of everywhere someone takes the phone.  In an article by Neil Huges at Appleinsider.com he tells us that John Gruber of Daring Fireball says he has been told it is in fact an error. "My little-birdie-informed understanding is that consolidated.db acts as a cache for location data, and that historical data should be getting culled but isn't, either due to a bug or, more likely, an oversight," Gruber wrote.  Riiiight. An error?

What happens with this error is: "Ever since iOS 4 arrived, your device has been storing a long list of locations and time stamps. We're not sure why Apple is gathering this data, but it's clearly intentional, as the database is being restored across backups, and even device migrations. "

The only error is that the information leaked out. "What makes this issue worse is that the file is unencrypted and unprotected, and it's on any machine you've synched with your iOS device. It can also be easily accessed on the device itself if it falls into the wrong hands. Anybody with access to this file knows where you've been over the last year, since iOS 4 was released."  Read more where I got both quote from at O'Reilly Radar.

This is already trying to be played off as an error.  It is obvious that this information is used for advertisers or certain apps that try to get information on people's habits to try to sell them more stuff.  The downside is the huge security issue.

Cell phone companies have always had access to this information since the emergence of the e911 system.  However, it is only available to those with a court order to get it.

Remeber - whatever you do - Stay Safe!

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