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Rediff.com  » Business » Apple iPhone secretly tracking user's privacy

Apple iPhone secretly tracking user's privacy

Last updated on: April 22, 2011 08:24 IST

Image: iPhone.

Apple has been accused of putting customers' privacy at risk after security researchers found that their iPhones were tracking users' locations and saving every detail to a secret file.

Apple iPhone secretly tracking user's privacy

Image: Apple iPhone.
The researchers found the device saves the latitude and longitude of users' locations, along with a time stamp, then copies the data to the owner's computer whenever the two are synchronised.

Apple iPhone secretly tracking user's privacy

Image: Apple iPhone.
This means anyone who stole the phone or gained access to the computer it is paired with could build a detailed picture of the owner's movements.

Apple iPhone secretly tracking user's privacy

Image: Apple iPhone.
"Apple has made it possible for almost anybody - a jealous spouse, a private detective - with access to your phone or computer to get detailed information about where you've been," the Daily Mail quoted Pete Warden , one of the researchers who discovered the file, as saying.

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Apple iPhone secretly tracking user's privacy

Image: Apple iPad.
It has also emerged that Apple's iPad device also records location data.

Warden and his fellow researcher Alasdair Allan have set up a web page to inform the public about the file, and to give away a programme that lets Apple users check what location data the phone is storing.

Apple iPhone secretly tracking user's privacy

Image: Apple iPhone.
Indeed, anyone with access to an iPhone user's computer could run Warden and Allan's application and see a visualisation of the phone's movements.

The application shows the phone's location on a map.

Apple iPhone secretly tracking user's privacy

Image: Apple iPhone.
Anyone running the programme can see the phone owner's location on a specific date; all the locations a user has ever visited with their phone; or an animated map of the user's movements over time.

The iPhone records the information whether or not its user agrees to being tracked. However, Apple has not revealed whether the function can be disabled.

Source: ANI