iPhone/Android Users Want to Read This

2012 01 31
The FBI denies being the source of the UDIDs that Antisec leaked earlier this week, so where did the data come from? With the US government having a history of being less than truthful about it’s surveillance programs and no way to verify Antisec’s claims at this time, the origin of the data is anybody’s guess.

While the leaked UDIDs appear to have little value, thanks to Antisec releasing data stripped of identifying information, Apple and Google have been secretly storing a year’s worth of location information on user’s devices, and in Apple’s case backing this data up to user’s computers in an unencrypted file, basically allowing anyone with access to the hard drive learn the location of the device over the last 365 days.

Location information is an integral part of using smart phones, the question however is, if there is any need to store this information for more than just a brief period of time. I don’t see any reason to back it up or worse, transmit it to 3rd parties at any time without the user’s knowledge AND explicit consent.

Apple has looked at this issue and is taking steps to better protect user’s privacy. In the meantime I suggest you consider carefully which application you allow access to location data, as many of them will prompt you to allow it, but only few apps really need it. Besides you can always turn it on and off when needed (Settings > Location Services > Choose app to turn Location Services for apps on and off).

Leave a comment