Apple issues statement on location tracking; software update on the way

By on April 27, 2011 at 8:52 AM.

Apple issues statement on location tracking; software update on the way

Apple has finally broken its week-long silence over the location-tracking database scandal surrounding iPhones and 3G iPads running iOS 4 and higher. The company states that it never has, and never plans to, track users’ iDevices, and that the purpose of the database file in question — consolidated.db — is to “help your iPhone rapidly and accurately calculate its location when requested.” The company noted that a software update will limit the size of the location file and be available in the next few weeks — the next major iOS release will add a layer of encryption to the file. Apple’s full statement is after the break. Have a look and let us know what you think. More →

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Apple sued over iPhone location tracking scandal

By on April 25, 2011 at 3:13 PM.

Apple sued over iPhone location tracking scandal

It was only a matter of time. Apple, Inc. has been named as a defendant in a federal district court suit over the iPhone and iPad 3G location tracking scandalat this point we think it’s safe to refer to it as such. The Cupertino company’s silence over the past week has only intensified rumors and speculation that Apple is, somehow, using this harvested data in a clandestine or nefarious manner. Bloomberg notes that the lawsuit was filed in Tampa, FL by two consumers and, at this point, it is unknown if the duo will seek class action status. Details on the case are scarce at the moment, but we’re sure this isn’t the last we’ll be hearing about this one. More →

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Apple stealthily recording, storing GPS position of iPhone, 3G iPad users [video]

By on April 20, 2011 at 11:18 AM.

Apple stealthily recording, storing GPS position of iPhone, 3G iPad users [video]

Several researchers at O’Reilly have discovered an extremely troubling feature of iPhones and 3G iPads running Apple’s iOS 4. In a blog post and accompanying video, the site details that Apple is storing the GPS coordinates of cellular iDevices locally, in an unencrypted and unprotected file. “Ever since iOS 4 arrived, your device has been storing a long list of locations and time stamps,” reads the post. “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.” O’Reilly goes on to note that along with a list of timestamped GPS coordinates, the file also contains a list of Wi-Fi access points that the affected device has been in range of. “Anybody with access to this file knows where you’ve been over the last year, since iOS 4 was released,” the brief continues. The file in question — named consolidated.db — is present in the backup file created when syncing a cellular iOS device with iTunes, and, obviously, on the iOS device itself. “Why this data is stored and how Apple intends to use it — or not — are important questions that need to be explored,” writes the team. Apple’s security team did not respond to O’Reilly‘s request for comment. The video made by the researchers is after the break. More →

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