Are You Okay With Your iPhone Tracking Your Every Move Without Your Knowledge?
If you just answered “Hell #%$&^*@ no!” to this question, then you’re probably not alone. In fact, we know you’re not alone. Because late last week, Gizmodo writer Sam Biddle penned an eye-opening piece basically stating his iPhone 4 has been tracking every move he’s made since he got it last year. Every trip to the grocery store. Every weekend getaway. Every cross-country flight. Everything.
And if you’ve got an iPhone—and possibly even just a smart phone in general—guess what? Your phone has been tracking you, too! It’s not 100 percent clear how it works, but a pair of security researchers recently made a discovery that shows Apple’s iOS 4 release last summer made it possible for Apple to log the location of every iPhone 4 user. So if you’re using an iPhone 4, chances are your whereabouts are being monitored 24/7/365 whether you like it or not and, at the present moment, there is nothing you can do to stop it.
That said, most people really won’t have anything to worry about. The information is stored directly on your iPhone 4 if you have one and it’ll never see the light of day. However, there are some folks who might be affected by this latest finding—namely those who have a private investigator after them, a jealous significant other, or anyone else who might want access to personal information about an iPhone 4 user. All it takes is a relatively simple iPhone 4 jail break (Biddle jail broke his own iPhone 4 to provide a map of everywhere he’s been since he started using the phone) and anyone can get access to all of your locations since you’ve had your iPhone.
And that’s led a lot of people to second-guess the trust they’ve put in Apple over the course of the last few years. Are you cool with Apple essentially making it possible for you to be tracked? Do you mind that they’ve basically made it mandatory for your exact locations to be pinpointed at all times in exchange for using the iPhone? Are they violating your rights?
The truth is Apple can do whatever the hell they want to do with their phones. They can install chips in them so that the government can monitor you. They can make all of their phones trackable. They can even have your iPhone store everything you put into your phone and have it accessible to other people, if they really want to. But if they’re going to do anything that might even remotely resemble a violation of your privacy, they should be required to tell you about it.
Apple should respond—and respond quickly—to Biddle’s recent piece and let people know whether or not they have anything to worry about when they put their iPhone 4 into their back pockets. iPhone buyers—and owners—need to understand what they’re getting themselves into when they pick up an iPhone, without having to read through pages and pages (and pages!) of fine print. Consumers need to know if there’s a chance their phone could know more about them than they do.
It’s not okay for your iPhone to track your every move. Especially if you have no idea that it’s doing it. And we have a feeling we’re not the only ones who think this. Now we just need Apple to address it.