Expert: iPhone tracking story is nothing new and Apple is not collecting the data

Yesterday, “two researchers for O’Reilly media published an article claiming discovery of a hidden tracking system on the iOS 4 operating system,” Alex Levinson blogs. “Using simple techniques, Alasdair Allan and Pete Warden extracted data off of an iOS version 4 device and wrote an open source software utility to effectively graph this data onto a map. As a fellow researcher, I champion their creativity and their development.”

Levinson writes, “As an expert in this field [Lead Engineer for Katana Forensics], I have three points of argument to raise.”

1) Apple is not collecting this data.
2) This hidden file is neither new nor secret, it’s just moved
3) This “discovery” was published months ago

Levinson writes, “I have no problem with what Mr. Warden and Mr. Allan have created or presented on, but I do take issue with them making erroneous claims and not citing previously published work. I’m all for creative development and research, as long as it’s honest.”

Much more in the full article – recommended – here.

[Attribution: Cult of Mac via @Scobleizer. Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Jax44” for the heads up.]

Related articles:
‘untrackerd’ jailbreak utility blocks iOS from storing recorded iPhone location data – April 21, 2011
Apple’s iPhone tracks everywhere you go; stores the info in secret file on the device – April 20, 2011

31 Comments

    1. Oh, the media knows. All the blather mouthed talking heads on all the channels are in self-important indignation about this as of this morning.

      The day is young; hopefully something else will come along and distract them. Maybe a shiny mirror and some colorful feathers and yarn.

      Mean while the stock is still up.

  1. By the way, the news article is wrong – the researchers didn’t get the file off the iPhone, it came from the backup on the host computer with iTunes. Getting it off the phone would have required defeating its security.

    This is such a non-story….

    1. lol. if this is a Maps app file.. it would be great.

      Apple should release a statement, but from what i have seen/read about the “issue” i’m not worried. its not transferred anywhere as far as anyone can tell.
      Looks like a history file like a web browser.

      Doesn’t handheld GPS or built in car GPS, do the same thing?
      I’m sure i could go through my old Garmin GPS files that back up on my computer when its sync’d and probably find the same/similar stuff.

  2. … Problem with is if you turn out to be some kind of serial killer, and the law knows where to look, they could use this against you.. or could they?? doesnt matter..

    also, lets say that that your having an affair, and your spouse restores a backup of your iphone to their phone, he/she can hire these 2 experts to hack into it and confirm or not, the true whereabouts of said sinner!

    😉

    really.. why the *ck would I care that there is some file like this? I would be more surprised if there wasn’t one?

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