Posted: Apr 21, 2011 6:02 AM by Kelly Werthmann - KTVQ News
Updated: Apr 21, 2011 6:03 AM
Beware: Your iPhone is tracking your every move.
Not only can the smartphone tell where you are, but also where you have been. A hidden file in the iPhone 4 and the iPad 3G apparently tracks and stores a user's location information.
That is the privacy glitch discovered by two programmers, Alasdair Allan and Pete Warden, who presented their findings at the O'Reilly Where 2.0 conference in San Francisco, The New York Times reports.
The file is called "consolidated.db" and keeps track of GPS data on 3G-enabled Apple devices, regularly updated the users' location. That information is also sent to the iTunes application when a user syncs or backs up their iPhone or iPad. Check out the map below -- it shows a single trip between New York City and Washington and all the data that was collected during the user's travels.
(Picture courtesy The New York Times via Alasdair Allan & Pete Warden.)
Allan and Warden say there is no need to panic over their findings -- at least not yet. Apple does not seem to be doing anything with the stored data. Beyond the issue of information being stored, "how Apple intends to use it -- or not -- are important questions that need to be explored," Mr. Allan wrote in a blog post.
The two programmers have contacted Apple's Product Security team, but have not received a response.
Watch the video below to see the two programmers present their findings.
In less disturbing technology news, Amazon is expanding its digital library for the Kindle.
Amazon announced Thursday that later this year it will launch library lending for Kindle books from more than 11,000 libraries across the United States.
According to USA Today, The Kindle Library Lending feature will allow users to checkout a Kindle book from a local library and start reading it on any Kindle device or Kindle application. The new feature has some awesome features of its own, too. If a Kindle book is checked out again or purchased on Amazon, the reader's annotations and bookmark are preserved.
"We're doing a little something extra here," said Jay Marine, Amazon's Kindle director. "Normally, making margin notes in library books is a big no-no. But we're extending our Whispersync technology so that you can highlight and add margin notes to Kindle books you check out from your local library."
The notes left in the margins will not show up when the next person checks out the same book. However, if the reader checks out the book again or buys it, their notes will be right where they left them.
Amazon did not release a specific date when The Kindle Library Lending feature will launch.
This is the final "What's the Buzz" by Kelly Werthmann. Thank you to everyone who has helped contribute to this on-air and online segment. It has been fun learning and sharing fun web and technology news with you! Don't forget, you can still follow me on Twitter @kelly_werthmann!