22 Apr 2011

Your smartphone knows where you were last night...

...And the night before that. In fact, some devices store location-related data for a whole year!

"Security researchers have discovered that Apple's iPhone keeps track of where you go – and saves every detail of it to a secret file on the device which is then copied to the owner's computer when the two are synchronised," according to an article on The Guardian this week.

Before the Google fanboys begin to smirk... Within about 24 hours of this exposé comes the next revelation in The Guardian: "Smartphones running Google's Android software collect data about the user's movements in almost exactly the same way as the iPhone, according to an examination of files they contain."

Both articles raise serious concerns about consumer privacy - and the more forgiving readers' comments conclude that the location cache is probably for "better user experience", "quicker operation", "location-specific advertising", or "locating lost devices". There are also resigned observations from readers that "all mobile phones can record location", "the authorities can track cell phones anyway", "it's the price you pay for high-tech services", etc.

Meanwhile, a United States Senate member, Al Franken, has even shot off a letter to Steve Jobs demanding to know why there is a secret file recording the location of iPhone users.

Amid all the hullabaloo, two entities seem have nothing to say on the subject: Apple and Google.

To paraphrase what Eric Schmidt, Google's CEO, once said about 'user privacy': “If you have been somewhere you don’t want anyone to know, maybe you shouldn’t have gone there in the first place.”

Lo and behold! The problem's solved.


Anonymous said...

i agree with Eric Shmidt. But that doesn't give any damn person the right to know my whereabouts.

Anonymous said...

From the time G-oogle, A-Apple, MS started, they have been collecting user / usage data. almost 4-decades now..

Solutions -
1. Create & start searching thru person's own search engine (only intranet-inside your office, until your HR/ house until your front gate.:)..).

2. Keeping away from Bluetooth, Wifi/Internet, when you connect you are search able..

3. Having a jet pack alike Vodofone-zoo zoo's and deliver poke / spank persons personally..:)to doorstep..~

or else..we can turn into virus/trojan/worm..& start a new journey...