Apple iOS 4 Devices Tracking GPS Data; Triggers Privacy Concerns (Video)

April 21, 2011, By Sanjeev Ramachandran

In what could be seen as a major worry for users of Apple iPhones and 3G iPads running iOS 4, it has been revealed that Apple is tracking the GPS data of their cellular devices. To make things worse, the company also stores the GPS coordinates in an unencrypted unprotected file!

Researchers at O’Reily have found that with the onset of iOS 4, the devices were storing a list of locations and time stamps without the knowledge and conscious consent of its users. The database is being restored across back-ups and is transferred even during device migrations.

Curiously, it is not yet clear as to why Apple is gathering such data. The data also includes the details of the Wi-Fi access points in the vicinity of the device too. The new finding raises serious security and privacy infringement worries since the information is stored in an unencrypted file named ‘consolidated.db.

Anyone who can access the file will easily understand where the user has been since the release of the iOS4.  The backup file is created when syncing a cellular iOS device with iTunes.

Though Apple’s security team has been pounded with questions about the new findings, there are no clear responses as yet from their part. You can watch the researchers talking about the stunning findings of their study in the video we have posted below. Tell us if you approve of Apple’s new move.

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