What Exactly Does the iPhone Tracking Data Mean?

As many of you may have heard, it appears as if Apple is tracking your every movement via your iPhone. While that may be a bit of an overstatement, the cache log in the iPhone does provide a fairly detailed account of where you and your iPhone have been. The implications were severe enough that it warranted congressional inquiry as Senator Al Franken sent a letter to Apple requesting more information.

While the idea that your location is being tracked is certainly troubling, it looks as if the intent was less harmful than what was initially thought. Several independent investigations have confirmed that that the cache log that saves the location data could have very well been an oversight. What is apparently true is that your iPhone was meant to be saving your location history, but only for a very recent time. The cache log that saves it should have only been doing so for very recent places and for services such as the “check-in” feature, myplaces and other map features.

What went wrong though is that the cache is not deleting itself, and is permanently storing your location information. Even more troubling is that it is storing the information in a non-secure manner. So, theoretically, someone could hack your system and have a data-log of basically all the places and coordinates where you have been since you bought your phone. While the coordinates are not exact in most cases, it would still provide someone way too much information about your locations and habits.

Image courtesy of: iphonefaq.org

Tags: , , , , , ,