iPhone iOS 4 tracking your movements

Hot in the news today is the revealing that iPhones with iOS 4.0 or later have been tracking your movements. Of the concerns is the possibility of someone finding or accessing your phone and knowing where you have been. But the “discovery” of the location tracking (using latitude/longitude coordinates) didn’t actually happen today. The SQL database file called “consolidated.db” that stores the information was actually written about in a publication called iOS Forensic Analysis in Dec. 2010 and has been in use by the forensic community. However, yesterday two O’Reilly media researchers wrote an article about the “hidden” file and suddenly eyebrows were raised.

ZDNet is tracking the story with frequent updates and the latest is that the coordinates stored in the consolidated.db file are not exact but rather approximate locations possibly based on the closest cell towers (although concerning if you live under a cell tower). You can also encrypt your iPhone backup so the file is not easily available. Follow the ZDNet article for more updates.

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