Thursday, April 21, 2011

iPhone 4 turns TrackPhone

Two researchers have uncovered a secret file on iPhones that keeps a record of where the phone has been and when it was there — a file that is unencrypted and stored by default.

A sample map built using the program

The security experts, Alasdair Allan and Pete Warden, created a program that lets you see just what your phone knows of your whereabouts — and it’s a creepy sight. There’s no evidence that the file is transferred to Apple, but the maps produced by the program show details stretching back months.

Ever since iOS 4 arrived, your device has been storing a long list of locations and time stamps,” said Mr. Allan, a technology author, in a post on the website of technology publisher O’Reilly. He and Mr. Warden, a former Apple employee, are presenting their findings Wednesday at the Where 2.0 conference put on by the publisher. The Guardian newspaper also has reported on their discovery.

Apple did not immediately respond to a request for comment. (more)