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:*

L.A. Residents Feel The Pressure of Increased Metro Fares


By Drennon Kimpton and Rachel Scott
09/15/14 | 9:57 a.m. PDT

L.A. residents will need some extra change to ride the metro as the fare rates increase.

Residents Speak out About Possible L.A.P.D. Drones


By Kay Angrum
09/15/14 | 9:55 a.m. PDT

The possibility of drones within the L.A.P.D. has residents worried.

USC Career Fair

Gordo the Dog Caught in the Middle of L.A. Police Chase

Sarkisian: "We're in a Really Good Frame of Mind"

Trader Joe's Coming to USC Village

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

Urban Outfitters Swing and Miss with Controversial Sweatshirt


By mholm
09/15/14 | 6:03 p.m. PDT

Red stains on a sweatshirt made some shoppers squirm.

Accused Killers of USC Student Appear in Court


By Marc Sallinger
09/12/14 | 5:16 p.m. PDT

Friends of Xinran Ji showed up at court to show their support.