Skip navigation
Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism University of Southern California

Nation/World

Report: iPhone, iPad track user locations

Researchers have a found a file in the popular Apple products that keeps a full record of its users' locations

A hidden file in the iOS software keeps a detailed log of user location and time, making tracking easy.
A hidden file in the iOS software keeps a detailed log of user location and time, making tracking easy.
Your iPhone is watching you.

A file embedded in current iPhone and iPad devices records a complete log of its user’s location over time, security researchers said Wednesday.

The popular Apple devices reportedly keeps a list of the user’s locations on a file in the phone and on the computer of the user when they sync or connect their device to iTunes.

“At first we weren’t sure how much data was there,” researchers Pete Warden and Alasdair Allan told The Guardian, “but after we dug further and visualized the extracted data, it became clear that there was a scary amount of detail on our movements.”

The file “consolidation.db” keeps a log of timestamps as well as latitude and longitude coordinates. The researchers said it appeared that Apple put the file into the phone when it released iOS 4.0 in in June 2010.

The iPhone has long been able to pinpoint its location using Apps like Apple Maps or Google Earth, but it was previously not known that the devices kept a hard copy of all it’s locations.

The researchers, however, said they do not see any evidence that the information is ever transmitted back to Apple or any other third party. 

COMMENTS

[...] Report: iPhone, iPad Track User Locations COMMENTS Leave a comment [...]

Leave a comment
Name:
E-mail:*
URL:
Comments:*

Chinese Students Gather at Arraignment for USC Grad Student Killing Case


By Faith Miller
08/12/14 | 10:36 a.m. PDT

[View the story on Storify]

Actor and Comedian Robin Williams Dead at 63


By Kate Flexter
08/11/14 | 5:24 p.m. PDT

Robin Williams was found dead Monday of apparent suicide.  

Four Teens Plead Not Guilty to Fatal Attack on USC Grad Student

Steve Sarkisian "It Was a Really Competitive Environment"

Cody Kessler "We've Still Got a Long Way to Go"

Nelson Agholor "I Thought It Was a Very Successful Day"

We detected that you might be on a mobile device such as an iPad or iPhone. Sorry, at this time the video box is only visible on desktop computers.
MOST POPULAR

Want to Be a Part of ATVN?


By Fernando Hurtado
08/21/14 | 1:45 p.m. PDT

We're about to go on air, so find out how to get involved before it's too late.