• Sat, Apr 23 2011

Your iPhone Knows Where You’ve Been

iPhone users: Did you know that your phone has been tracking everywhere you’ve been since June of 2010? Because it has. And it wants everyone to know it.

The Guardian reports that every detail about your phone’s movement is saved in a secret file on the phone itself;then, once you’ve synchronized your phone with your computer, the file is copied over to your hard drive as well. The coordinates are recorded in the form of latitude and longitude, and there’s a timestamp to go along with them– so not only does your phone know where you’ve been, it knows exactly when you were there. This is weird enough on its own, but you know what makes it even weirder? If your phone or your computer are stolen, the thief could hypothetically unearth this information quite easily.

Creepy. And potentially dangerous.

Of course, if your phone and/or computer are stolen, odds are there are a lot of identity theft issues you’d be worried about, so maybe this isn’t THAT groundbreaking; but I still think it’s strange. Is there any reason why this information needs to be recorded? Maybe in cases of suspected murder or terrorism or similar nasty crimes, but for Joe Schmoe On The Street, it’s a wee bit invasive, and rather purposelessly so. However, if you’re not terribly bothered but still kind of curious, you can download an app that will unearth your phone’s secret file and map out the information for you. Just, y’know, in case you’ve got Guy Pierce’s memory problem from Memento.

The Guardian also notes that the scientists who uncovered this iPhone tracking code, Pete Warden and Alasdair Allan, have been unable to find a similar code in Android devices. Looks like now might be a good time to switch over to Android…

[Via Buzzfeed]

You can reach this post's author, Lucia Peters, on twitter.
Share This Post: