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Old 04-20-11, 07:06 PM   #1
Socio
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Default iPhones Are Secretly Tracking You!

What Your iPhone Knows About You

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Two researchers have uncovered a secret file on iPhones that keeps a record of where the phone has been and when it was there — a file that is unencrypted and stored by default.

The security experts, Alasdair Allan and Pete Warden, created a program that lets you see just what your phone knows of your whereabouts — and it’s a creepy sight. There’s no evidence that the file is transferred to Apple, but the maps produced by the program show details stretching back months.
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“Ever since iOS 4 arrived, your device has been storing a long list of locations and time stamps,”
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The researchers say the database is restored each time you back up your phone, and even if you switch to a new device. Any iPhone running the latest version of Apple Inc.’s iOS operating system, as well as any iPad 3G running that software, has the database on it, they say. The file is transferred to any computer synced to the phone or tablet, and it can be easily found by someone with access to one of those computers or the device itself.
If someone were to create and sell and app that disables this tracking software they would make a small fortune!
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Old 04-20-11, 07:47 PM   #2
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In what universe is it okay for a company to do this? **** Apple.
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Old 04-21-11, 12:31 AM   #3
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Default Re: iPhones Are Secretly Tracking You!

I thought everyone knew stuff like that has been going on for a long time and it sure isn't just iPhones. I don't even know how many videos I've seen of cops confiscating every smart phone they can during interactions. I bumped into this today.

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ACLU seeks information on Michigan program that allows cops to download information from smart phones belonging to stopped motorists.

The Michigan State Police have a high-tech mobile forensics device that can be used to extract information from cell phones belonging to motorists stopped for minor traffic violations. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Michigan last Wednesday demanded that state officials stop stonewalling freedom of information requests for information on the program.

ACLU learned that the police had acquired the cell phone scanning devices and in August 2008 filed an official request for records on the program, including logs of how the devices were used. The state police responded by saying they would provide the information only in return for a payment of $544,680. The ACLU found the charge outrageous.

"Law enforcement officers are known, on occasion, to encourage citizens to cooperate if they have nothing to hide," ACLU staff attorney Mark P. Fancher wrote. "No less should be expected of law enforcement, and the Michigan State Police should be willing to assuage concerns that these powerful extraction devices are being used illegally by honoring our requests for cooperation and disclosure."

A US Department of Justice test of the CelleBrite UFED used by Michigan police found the device could grab all of the photos and video off of an iPhone within one-and-a-half minutes. The device works with 3000 different phone models and can even defeat password protections.

"Complete extraction of existing, hidden, and deleted phone data, including call history, text messages, contacts, images, and geotags," a CelleBrite brochure explains regarding the device's capabilities. "The Physical Analyzer allows visualization of both existing and deleted locations on Google Earth. In addition, location information from GPS devices and image geotags can be mapped on Google Maps."

The ACLU is concerned that these powerful capabilities are being quietly used to bypass Fourth Amendment protections against unreasonable searches.

"With certain exceptions that do not apply here, a search cannot occur without a warrant in which a judicial officer determines that there is probable cause to believe that the search will yield evidence of criminal activity," Fancher wrote. "A device that allows immediate, surreptitious intrusion into private data creates enormous risks that troopers will ignore these requirements to the detriment of the constitutional rights of persons whose cell phones are searched."

The national ACLU is currently suing the Department of Homeland Security for its policy of warrantless electronic searches of laptops and cell phones belonging to people entering the country who are not suspected of committing any crime.

Source: http://www.thenewspaper.com/news/34/3458.asp
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Old 04-21-11, 09:40 AM   #4
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Default Re: iPhones Are Secretly Tracking You!

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Originally Posted by MaXThReAT View Post
I thought everyone knew stuff like that has been going on for a long time and it sure isn't just iPhones. I don't even know how many videos I've seen of cops confiscating every smart phone they can during interactions. I bumped into this today.
That's a little different. That device extracts information from phones, where as the iPhone stores your location in a file that can be accessed easily.

If the phone doesn't track you, then no one can extract it.
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Old 04-21-11, 11:40 AM   #5
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Oh noes! The GPS that already knew where I am now nows where I go! Not that I have an iPhone anymore... just don't care.
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Old 04-21-11, 04:04 PM   #6
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Isn't GPS off when it's disabled? My WinMo and Android phones seem to be that way.

Plus it didn't log my position to an unsecured file...
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Old 04-21-11, 11:51 PM   #7
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Uhh, no. It tracks you even if GPS is off. It triangulates your position through cell tower deduction. It can't be turned off.

This explains more

http://www.nvnews.net/vbulletin/show...12#post2422012
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Old 04-22-11, 08:41 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Shamrock View Post
Uhh, no. It tracks you even if GPS is off. It triangulates your position through cell tower deduction. It can't be turned off.

This explains more

http://www.nvnews.net/vbulletin/show...12#post2422012
Yea but that only locates you within an area. The GPS can locate you within feet.
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Old 04-23-11, 02:06 AM   #9
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Default Re: iPhones Are Secretly Tracking You!

GPS can be turned off, this can't.
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Old 04-23-11, 02:59 AM   #10
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Default Re: iPhones Are Secretly Tracking You!

Cell tower triangulation is nothing new, been going on since the 80's, and it's not terribly accurate nor does it work if you aren't in close proximity to the towers.
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Old 04-23-11, 03:43 AM   #11
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Default Re: iPhones Are Secretly Tracking You!

I guess you didn't read the link to the thread about the explanation?

Other phone manufacturers DO indeed have this cell triangulation, but they just let it sit dormant until a court order is provided for tracking (Magus even said that in that thread). Apple's is active, and it can be passed from device to device, via a wifi hotspot. What Apple is gathering info for, is what people are riled up about.
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Old 04-23-11, 11:35 AM   #12
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Default Re: iPhones Are Secretly Tracking You!

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Originally Posted by Shamrock View Post
I guess you didn't read the link to the thread about the explanation?

Other phone manufacturers DO indeed have this cell triangulation, but they just let it sit dormant until a court order is provided for tracking (Magus even said that in that thread). Apple's is active, and it can be passed from device to device, via a wifi hotspot. What Apple is gathering info for, is what people are riled up about.
I know triangulation is possible (albeit not terribly accurate) and GPS can be turned off.

But what bothers me is what you said is bothering others. Why are they recording the data? I guess I could understand using the info for tower updates. For example, my phone would know that I spend the majority of my time in Boston, and therefore update the towers such that it knows every tower in Boston and surrounding areas, and the rest of the country loosely.

But then delete the data after the update. And at least store it in a protected or encrypted file heh.
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