When Apple rolled out location services on the iPhone many people questioned whether this could lead to a big brother style society with people being able to track your every move. For this reason many users decided to switch off location services although new research has shown this doesn’t make a blind bit of difference as Apple has been secretly collecting data anyway.
The information has been collected ever since iOS 4 was released in 2010 and stored on the iPhone; it also gets transferred and stored as a local backup on users’ computers when they connect it to iTunes. Worryingly the data also gets transferred to new devices, so iPad’s and new phones will store all your prior data under the ‘skin’ of the device.
Peter Warden explained the issues this could cause: ‘Apple has made it possible for almost anybody – a jealous spouse, a private detective – with access to your phone or computer to get detailed information about where you’ve been.’
Alasdair Allan and Pete Warden have been spearheading a research study at the University of Exeter remained neutral on whether Apple know about this data harvesting or not, we’d have to say they probably did as these things very rarely find their way into software by accident.
Apparently the research has been presented to Apple who has yet to confirm or deny any problem with their location services or software on the whole. This is yet another case of privacy and perhaps misuse of data, granted it is only being stored on the users computer or device but what would happen to it when Apple bring in cloud based storage which is rumoured to be included on iOS 5.
Here is a video of the two researches talking through their discoveries:
[vsw id=”GynEFV4hsA0″ source=”youtube” width=”600″ height=”450″ autoplay=”no”]