Iphone Tracker Ippolito 2011 01 19Privacy advocates Alasdair Allan and Pete Warden have released a free visualization tool to demonstrate how the iPhone stores your movements in a file easily accessible by anyone with access to your phone or computer. (Shown here, my January 19th presence in the Philadelphia International Airport.)

Nothing like a good visualization of your own movements to give you the creeps.


[Link]

This open-source application maps the information that your iPhone is recording about your movements. It doesn’t record anything itself, it only displays files that are already hidden on your computer.

CNet says the police have been already been scavenging these data, which is on your phone and your PC, when they feel like it. (Did I mention cops in some states can search your phone if they stop you for, say, traffic violations?)

Police Using Apple iOS Tracking Data For Forensics

First, it seems Android shares a similar problem, though the file containing the location data is “only accessible on devices that have been rooted and opened up to installation of unsigned apps.” Developer Magnus Eriksson has created an app to flush this data. Next: the iPhone tracking file is not new, just in a different place than it used to be. Reader overThruster then points out a CNet story indicating that law enforcement has been aware of this file for some time, and has used it in a forensics context. This story is a growing concern for Apple, particularly now that Senator Al Franken (PDF) and Rep. Ed Markey (PDF) have both written letters to Steve Jobs demanding details about the location tracking. Finally, PCMag explains how to view the location data present on your iPhone, should you so desire.

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