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iOS Keeps Records of Your Location in a Secret File

Maura

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[ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GynEFV4hsA0&feature=player_detailpage]YouTube - iPhone Tracking Discussion[/ame]​

9to5 Mac reports on a story today about two researchers who have accidentally stumbled on evidence that shows that your iPhone and iPad is storing records of your location in a secret file that is also copied to your computer when you sync your device with iTunes. It’s all explained in the video above, and according to 9to5 Mac, it’s all down to iOS 4, which tracks your geographical location. The discovery has sparked off a big privacy debate on the web today, with some commentators saying that this is a serious issue and something we should all be extremely concerned about, and others, such as Boy Genius Report, dismissing it as a bit of a storm in an i-teacup, saying that you have agreed that Apple can do this sort of thing when you signed up to the Terms of Service for your iPhone or iPad. ZDNet’s Between the Lines blog is also underwhelmed by the story, questioning why some people are so alarmed by the report, when there are plenty of other location-tracking services that people are happy to use, such as Google Latitude and MobileMe.

Source: iOS secretly storing your location data, say researchers (UPDATED with video) | 9 to 5 Mac | Apple Intelligence, Boy Genius Report, ZDNet
 

bab2010

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Hooo stop it. Apple is not the one who started it. Your phone carrier is traking you far better than apple yet u agree to use your carrier services.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

jschumac

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I extracted the file. It's under \Library\Caches\locationd and you have a consolidated.db sqllite file there.

As was stated in the video, it starts with the iOS 4 upgrade.

I've got over 22,000 entries since August. But it does not seem to be tracking me everywhere. Sometimes there's a few days between entries and I keep my phone on and carry it with me.

It almost seems that whenever it tries to do an initial sense-location, it gets logged. There are dozens, sometimes over 100 entries in here with the same timestamp. So maybe those 22,000 entries are actually 400-1000 unique timestamps. For those multiple entries with the same timestamp, it looks like it may be logging every reading as it searches.

I see a lot of entries when I was probably starting a routing in Google Maps. Or may have hit the locate me button. But I don't see constant logging as I was driving.

What's more, the locations seem to vary widely. I took one sample of 106 entries for the same timestamp. Both the min/max longitude and latitude measurements varied by about 25 miles.

That might be a reason why they didn't zoom in too far on those maps in the video. There's less of a shock-factor if the locations could be up to 25 miles off.

This doesn't worry me too much.
 

wnjjj96

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Assumptions:
Your iphone is jail broken and you know how to telnet into your phone with username: root and password: alpine
And that you know how to use the internet to learn about the other assumptions that exist.

I was in the "testing" directory because that's where pscp.exe was located. Note, you must replace the "?" with "@". The was necessary for me to modify since the parser has assumed I'm submitting an email address.

C:\testing>pscp.exe root?192.168.20.1:/var/root/Library/Caches/locationd/consolidated.db c:\temp
root?192.168.20.1's password: alpine


Once you acquire the "temp" sqlite database you can use, sqlitebrowser_200_b1_win, to view the database.
 

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