Ever wondered if that nifty smart phone in your pocket is tracking where you go? Maybe you haven’t? Well in reality if your GPS/location is enabled and by default it is then you might have guessed right that your phone is indeed tracking and logging your locations. Going as far as time-stamping every update as well.
Further more not only is it storing your data, but storing it in a simple non-encrypted SQLite database! To make matters worse every time you back-up your phone this manifest file is also backed up to your computer. Meaning your where abouts is not only on your phone but now on your computers!
For some this probably isn’t a huge deal, but it’s a little insight to some sneaky things that are going on that you would have never found out about. Makes you wonder what else has been going on.
Two data scientists discovered this manifest file while looking for new data to graphically view. You can watch the video on this and read the article here.
Apple released a new update (4.3.3) which addresses the issue and slightly fixes the problem. However this does two things. A) stops the phone from backing this file up to iTunes. and B) Completely removes the manifest file when you turn off location services on your phone.
Question is… How does this make you feel? Felt Apple fixed this issue? or do you feel like its still a problem? Company aside, any other companies you think are doing this? Or similar? Let me know your thoughts on this topic, I’m quite curious to see how others feel about it!
UPDATE: I was informed of; as well as noticed this data to be of aGPS data, which means Assisted-GPS data. Meaning most locations that are saved are in-fact within 100’ radius of your actual location at that time. So its not down to the exact spot, however its still close enough to possibly be an issue. I’ll let you decide on that. Also I was informed that Android also stores similar information, actually further more submits this information to Google. So I feel us iPhone users have less to be worried about if that is true.
Here is a example of there software in action, simply opening the software it auto-found and loaded my most recent iPhone backup. Then displaying all of my locations since July 2010 when I got my phone 4; on a map. Just insane.