Skip to comments.Your iPhone Is Secretly Tracking Everywhere You’ve Been
Posted on 04/20/2011 8:52:34 AM PDT by rivercat
Your iPhone is keeping a record of everywhere you've been since June. This data is stored on your phone (or iPad) and computer, easily available to anyone who gets their hands on it. Why? Apple won't say. We're creeped out.
The enormous privacy startle, apparently enabled by this summer's iOS 4 release, was discovered by two security researchers, one of whom claims he was an Apple employee for five years. They're equally puzzled and disturbed by the location collection: "By passively logging your location without your permission, Apple have made it possible for anyone from a jealous spouse to a private investigator to get a detailed picture of your movements," they explain. All it would take to crack the information out of your iOS device is an easy jailbreak. On your computer, the information can be opened as easily as JPEG.
The data itself is jarringly accurate. Even though it appears to rely on tower triangulation rather than GPS pinpointing (meaning you're not safe with location services switched off), the map I was able to generate with mapping software the security duo released visualizes my life since the day I bought my iPhone 4 in July. Everywhere I've been. Bus trips home. Train trips to visit family. Vacations. Places I'd forgotten I'd even gone. Zoom in on that giant blotch over New York, and you can see my travels, block by block. My entire personal and professional lifedocumented by a phone I didn't know was also a tracking device. It's all accessiblewhere I've been, and when. I don't want this information bouncing around in my pocket with me. Do you?
Read the FAQ.
Er, isn’t it tracking where the iPhone has been?
Say you get up in the middle of the night, put your iPhone on your bed table, and go out and commit mayhem. You have an alibi that you were asleep the whole time.
|Michigan: Police Search Cell Phones During Traffic Stops
THE NEWSPAPER ^ | April 20, 2011 | swampsniper
I don't know anything about this source but this sounds credible. ACLU seeks information on Michigan program that allows cops to download information from smart phones belonging to stopped motorists. The Michigan State Police have a high-tech mobile forensics device that can be used to extract information from cell phones belonging to motorists stopped for minor traffic violations. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Michigan last Wednesday demanded that state officials stop stonewalling freedom of information requests for information on the program. ACLU learned that the police had acquired the cell phone scanning devices and in August 2008 filed...
|Michigan: Police Search Cell Phones During Traffic Stops
www.thenewspaper.com ^ | 4/19/2011 | Staff
ACLU seeks information on Michigan program that allows cops to download information from smart phones belonging to stopped motorists The Michigan State Police have a high-tech mobile forensics device that can be used to extract information from cell phones belonging to motorists stopped for minor traffic violations. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Michigan last Wednesday demanded that state officials stop stonewalling freedom of information requests for information on the program. ACLU learned that the police had acquired the cell phone scanning devices and in August 2008 filed an official request for records on the program, including logs of...
|ACLU: Michigan cops stealing drivers' phone data
The Michigan State Police have started using handheld machines called "extraction devices" to download personal information from motorists they pull over, even if they're not suspected of any crime. Naturally, the ACLU has a problem with this. The devices, sold by a company called Cellebrite, can download text messages, photos, video, and even GPS data from most brands of cell phones. The handheld machines have various interfaces to work with different models and can even bypass security passwords and access some information.
|Michigan Police Could Search Cell Phones During Traffic Stops [what's a 'constitution'?]
Slashdot ^ | 4/19/11 | timothy
SonicSpike writes "The Michigan State Police have a high-tech mobile forensics device that can be used to extract information from cell phones belonging to motorists stopped for minor traffic violations. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Michigan last Wednesday demanded that state officials stop stonewalling freedom of information requests for information on the program. A US Department of Justice test of the CelleBrite UFED used by Michigan police found the device could grab all of the photos and video off of an iPhone within one-and-a-half minutes. The device works with 3000 different phone models and can even defeat password...
Don’t bother me, I’m not doing anything wrong.
A. This database of your locations is stored on your iPhone as well as in any of the automatic backups that are made when you sync it with iTunes. One thing that will help is choosing encrypted backups, since that will prevent other users or programs on your machine from viewing the data, but there will still be a copy on your device.
Burglars would love that information.
What...who would think that Google would permanently archive users' data...and have users agree to fine print that says they consent to Google reading and keeping their GMail?
Any way I can access this info myself???
If I can, I would be able to recover a $300.00 camera I lost.
Twenty-seven years later - Apple is Big Brother.
“[A]ll that we have known and cared for, will sink into the abyss of a new Dark Age made more sinister, and perhaps more protracted, by the lights of perverted science.” - Winston Churchill
Invading your Privacy... “there’s an app for that”...
Haha I write Iphone apps, but I carry a dumbed down trackfone.. I just can’t beat $40 for 400 minutes when I use about 10 minutes (maybe) a week...
Why do I need an expensive data plan? I have a computer at home wired in, and 10 minutes to work and I am wired in there too.
In Michigan and get pulled over the cops will extract this data out. maybe they have some cases to solve and want to find out who was in the area.
Do other phones do this same thing?
Got my old-school Motorola V3C here and not sweating it.
Never understood the smartphone idea. Great if you want to compute mobile, but awful if you want your life’s details kept away from prying eyes.
“The government is the potent omnipresent teacher ... If the government becomes a lawbreaker, it breeds contempt for law; it invites every man to become a law unto himself; it invites anarchy.” - Justice Louis D. Brandeis
“Maybe they’re doing it for the government. Maybe they’re doing it because they’re forced to. So far, the researchers have found no proof that the information is being transmitted to remote servers hosted by Apple or the feds. There’s no evidence of that at allthat’s the good news. But that’s still a lot of information on our phones about where we’ve been, whether or not we want it.”
Using this logic, why not plant a camera in your living room, bedroom, hey, maybe one in the bathroom too!
I’m not seeing a connection between your post and the actual posted article.
Am I missing something, or did you post on the wrong thread?
The poster was responding to another post quoting something written by Winston Churchill. As a Churchill fan I cought this right off. I’ve had Churchill quotes on my profile page here for years. I consider Winston Churchill one of the greatest minds of the modern age. He was truly a gifted person. Churchill was the real deal. Unlike the boneheaded moron that is currently in MY oval office right now.
“Twenty-seven years later - Apple is Big Brother.”
No problem Apple is the liberal dream company, owned and controlled by liberals.
We know that only evil conservatives would do something evil with that data.
Of course, we are safe with Google and Face Book. (total sarcasm)
guess if one is going to do something nefarious they should leave their phone at home.
Everytime your cel phone turns on it leaves a ‘breadcrumb’ in a location database (in the ‘cloud’, not just your phone) related to what cel phone tower you are getting a channel from. If you move and connect to other towers, another ‘breadcrumb’ is created. This is true whether you have an old school Motorola phone or an HTC Android, or an Apple iOS device.
You can’t make or receive calls unless you are part of the home and/or visiting location record database(S).
That is native to how cel hone networks function.
Not sure how persistent those data are, but they are part of the continual handshakes that occur between a phone or smart phone and the networks.
Rush is talking about this now. I don’t have or want an iPhone for any reason.
Rush is talking about this now...
Oh really. lol
Yesterday I was driving home with my daughter who does have a iPhone. So she starts up some app that gives her traffic reports. This was around 4PM heading north on I95 toward Baltimore. Traffic was slow. Should I switch to the Baltimore-Washington Parkway? Which Tunnel should I take? My daughter is giving me reports. So I asked, "How do they get these reports? How do we know it wasn't from some guy flying in a helicopter at lunch time?
I found out. I think. The thing was so d*mn accurate almost to the foot where traffic started to begin moving at normal speed. The only way they could possibly do this is by taking position signals from all the iPhones and seeing how fast they are moving. I think.
BOL on the reality and cost savings of what you posted:
“Haha I write Iphone apps, but I carry a dumbed down trackfone.. I just cant beat $40 for 400 minutes when I use about 10 minutes (maybe) a week...”
We have a Moto Tracfone that is quiet old, and due to the carryover of unused minutes, we now have over 2800 minutes on the phone.
It takes pictures, sends them and works in most places the expensive services work. One of our younger relatives was visiting here and had a conference phone he need to join. His Blackberry/Verizon didn’t work in this area. I handed him my el cheapo Moto Tracfone and he was able to participate in our home with the conference call.
A female relative with her beloved I Phone couldn’t make phone calls from a local beach. I took a picture her and the beach on my el cheapo and sent the picture in a text message. She laughed and said it didn’t work. I told her to wait until she got back where her I Phone worked and check her messages. When she did, my text/photo was waiting for her.
She pays more per month for her AT&T connection, than we do for 400 minutes.
Well, there’s a good reason to track recent locations in the phone — the “where’s my phone” feature that lets you find where your phone got to if/when it gets lost. No idea what justification exists for keeping anything more than recent locations, though.
Thanks for this. Now, we/I know how our younger relatives know how the traffic is going or not going with their I phones.
“I found out. I think. The thing was so d*mn accurate almost to the foot where traffic started to begin moving at normal speed. The only way they could possibly do this is by taking position signals from all the iPhones and seeing how fast they are moving. I think.”
downloaded it, (its a zip file)
but there are no instructions on how to open or install it.
found an index.html file, but it just loads a world map... nothing else.
How is one supposed to use this once they download it?
True, but with GPS, they know exactly where you are and not just what tower area you are in..
My best buddy in that department is an antique from Virgin Mobile that has been through more crap than Ed Norton, and still does everything its maker intended. Which does not include GPS or even photography. It has survived being splattered on the highway, and a full cycle in the laundry. It is likely immortal. Cost: $7. per month.
Sorry, but even if you turn off GPS, the ‘localization’ capability of the network (think radio signal triangulation matched to small timing differences) which is actually essential to the cel network’s ability to keep you connected,
CAN track you down to a pretty small area.
Read about LBS / location based services.
Also look up:
air-watch, Good, MobileIron and Sybase
These are mobile device management applications that can make use of the NATIVE capabilities of the networks and the smart phones themselves.
And no, they DON’T work if your phone or smart IS powered off.
You are welcome to not want one, but keep in mind that this is not unique to the iPhone.
ALL 3G/ 4G devices CAN *REVEAL* their location, but please understand that ALL celphones and smart phones on digital networks ARE located by the networks to pretty discrete distances. The networks have some pretty smart stuff to be able to connect you, move with you, bill you, etc. Intrinsic to this cel network capability set is the ability to identify WHERE you are.
You may not realize it, but the same is true for your IP address of the computer you are reading this post on.
The information is not the issue — it’s the abuse of it.
"If you've done nothing wrong you have nothing to hide", is the refrain of tyrants and the creed of slaves.
And it doesn't matter if you've done nothing wrong. If a corrupt governemnt wants your money, or your property, or your daughter they'll just make something up and use the police state you allowed them to build to do what they please.
Normally your location data is stored on the provider’s servers. The service provider needs to know where you are so they can connect you to the nearest cell tower. I hear it checks your location and makes a log record every 7 seconds.
Apple is just saving money by having the users keep the log.
No problem Apple is the liberal dream company, owned and controlled by liberals.
There’s no chance a company like Apple or GE would ever use their favored political connections to provide potentially embarassing information to creeps like Obama to humble his political enemies, right? Good, I didn’t think so. / Sarc
>>>>The information is not the issue its the abuse of it.
Exactly. A hammer, in the hands of a skilled tradesman, can build fine furniture, homes, etc. or in the hands of an artisan can make art - but in the hands of someone with ill will, a hammer can bash in your neighbor’s skull. It’s not the tool - it’s how you use it.
If you want on or off the Mac Ping List, Freepmail me.
ANY cell phone can be tracked. Whether the data is stored at the cell phone company or on the device is pretty much immaterial.
I haven’t even been anywhere. Perhaps I should go somewhere. Oh, wait, I don’t have an Iphone...