iPhone storing tracking details on users even with location services off

Apr 25, 2011
3

There are a lot of times when you iPhone or other device needs to know your location to give you the service you are looking for. For instance if you are looking for a gas station near you or trying to find your way to a destination the app on your iPhone will need to know where you are right now. There are also times when your iPhone doesn't need to know where you are and has no need to be storing those details. That is exactly what the iPhone is allegedly doing though, storing location data even when the user has locations services turned off.

We reported last week that both the iPhone and Android devices were storing tracking details on the user of the phone is at set intervals and sending that data home. The iPhone stores the data, that data is sent to Apple intermittently, and Android shoots the location data over the Google. The WSJ says that the iPhone is collecting and storing that data using cellular towers and WiFi access points near the user. The WSJ also notes that over the weekend Rep. Edward Markey (D. Mass.) has called for a congressional investigation into the tracking row.

Markey says that the location information could be hacked by predators putting children who use the smartphones at risk. The iPhone stores months worth of tracking information according to security researchers. So far, both Apple and Google claim that the data that the smartphones stores and send in to them is anonymous and that users can turn it off by disabling location services. Apple will surely find itself in more hot water with the discovery that the data is collected even when location services are disabled by the user.

[via WSJ]


Must Read Bits & Bytes