As promised in iPhone Software License Agreement, Apple tracking iPhone usage data

“Put on your tinfoil hats, because according to the findings of XianLi, one of the members of Hackint0sh, the iPhone spies on you,” Jesus Diaz reports for Gizmodo.

The evidence in the code shows that the Stocks and Weather applications send your IMEI number—the unique number that identifies your iPhone and is tied to your personal information—to Apple, along with the nature of the information you are looking at:

“While there’s no evidence that Apple actually uses this information for any purpose, good or evil, the code shows that every time you try to access detailed information on whatever stock, your IMEI will be sent embedded in the URL. This could be cross-referenced with IP location and the information in Apple or its partner’s databases to gather extremely valuable data for marketing purposes,” Diaz reports.

More in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Note: Apple’s iPhone Software License Agreement states, “You agree that Apple and its subsidiaries may collect and use technical and related information, including but not limited to technical information about your iPhone, computer, system and application software, and peripherals, that is gathered periodically to facilitate the provision of software updates, product support and other services to you (if any) related to the iPhone Software, and to verify compliance with the terms of this License. Apple may use this information, as long as it is in a form that does not personally identify you, to improve our products or to provide services or technologies to you.”

55 Comments

  1. Odd.

    While I don’t fear this particular information being recorded, I fear that it is being done all together. I would advise Apple to put a stop to it immediately.

    The iPhone has suffered entire too much “Big Brother” control from the start with Apple telling customers what they can and cannot do with the instrument THEY purchased.

    Now we find that in addition to their oppressive and stringent controls on usage they are actually WATCHING your actions and delivering PERSONAL data to advertisers.

    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. This is not the Apple I’ve supported for years. Some wrong minded people are making decisions in Cupertino these days.

  2. “…Apple may use this information, as long as it is in a form that does not personally identify you, to improve our products or to provide services or technologies to you …”

    Your IMEI (International Mobile Equipment Identifier) identifies you.

  3. “…Kinda hard to not have access to this stuff, even if it does seem Orwellian …”

    Why is it hard? Simply don’t take advantage of the ability to gather it.

    Yet again, at least where the iPhone is concerned, Apple has chosen the opportunistic over the moralistic.

    I can see it now. “Dear TheloniousMac, we see you spend a great deal of time in the Wilshire area and West Los Angeles and we checked your credit and we can see that you prequalify for a loan on one of these beautiful new townhomes in the area. If you were there you’d be home, which we know you’re not right now. You’re stuck in traffic.”

  4. I have noticed nearby speaker interference (caused by cellular communications) when ever I use the alarm clock or timer functions. I have wondered if there was information being sent to Apple about product usage. Now I know.

    This is not the kind of press Apple should want with the iPhone. This story will gather steam. Most people want to protect their privacy. People store their lives on there computers and now their iPhone. If Apple gets a bad reputation with respect to the data we intrust to them, it will harm both their iPhone and Mac business.

  5. “MacDailyNews Note: Apple’s iPhone Software License Agreement states, “You agree that Apple and its subsidiaries may collect and use technical and related information, including but not limited to technical information about your iPhone, computer, system and application software, and peripherals, that is gathered periodically to facilitate the provision of software updates, product support and other services to you (if any) related to the iPhone Software, and to verify compliance with the terms of this License. Apple may use this information, as long as it is in a form that does not personally identify you, to improve our products or to provide services or technologies to you.””

    So in other words, it’s ok?

    Come on fanboys, this sux and you know it. It’s the Evil Empire all over again, and it’s not ok. This is Microsoft territory now, and it’s a LOT worse with the relationship between Apple and Google/DoubleClick.

  6. What’s wrong with tracking information? Unless you have something to hide? I would agree that this would be Orwellian when I see a prepondrance of evidence that this is the case–i.e., direct advertising to the individua via the iPhone. However, I have not seen this to be the fact. In the foreseeable future, maybe. I just don’t see it happening now.

  7. I don’t like being tracked, profiled or spyed upon. The idea of privacy seems to be lost on corporations as a whole. This idea that a person doesn’t have the sense to choose for themselves is not true. I find this akin to a salesperson following you around the store all day. And who really thinks that any data collect won’t be used? Get real! Why are they collecting that data anyway?

  8. You know it seems odd that people complain about this sort of stuff, but if you click on the “I Agree” button when you install software, aren’t you saying that you agree with the terms of the license? If we don’t take time to read the fine print, we have no one else to blame. If you don’t like it, quit agreeing to things you haven’t taken the time to read!

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