Apple knows much more about you than you think. Since the launch of iOS 4, Apple has been recording the location of every iPhone and iPhone and placing the information with time stamps in a secret file, according to a report released Wednesday.
"We're not sure why Apple is gathering this data, but it's clearly intentional, as the database is being restored across backups, and even device migrations," writes Alisdair Allan and Pete Warden on the O'Reilly Radar blog. (Both Allan and Warden will be presenting their findings today at the Where 2.0 conference in Santa Clara.)
Allan and Warden think it's worse because the file isn't encrypted or protected, but open for anyone to see because it leaves a copy on every machine synched with an iOS device.
"The cell phone companies have always had this data, but it takes a court order to access it. Now this information is sitting in plain view, unprotected from the world," they continue.
While someone watching your whereabouts for a year or so may not put anyone in immediate danger, but it will make you feel very uncomfortable. (However, if you intend on committing a crime, try not to bring your iPhone along.) It also begs the question, "Why did Apple do this?" and what are they doing with the information?
So far, Apple hasn't commented on the news. But will they say it was all an accident a la Google Street View, or try to justify downloading the information?