If you thought you were free in today’s day and age, you’re going to have to think again. Not only are websites tracking your movements to hock wares in your direction, but your phone’s also keeping dibs on your movements. If you thought Minority Report was set in the future, think again.
Researchers have found an unencrypted file in iOS backups that contains information about your travels around the world. If you have an iPhone or iPad 3G, there’s a good chance that you can access your travel logs.
An application has already popped up online that lets you analyze your travels in a visual manner.
But what does it mean for the rest of us? With recent news of Michigan police officers illegally copying iPhone data in under two minutes, there’s no doubt that ‘the man’ can access where you’re coming from, where you’ve been, and where you’re likely to go in the future.
The database, available on the phone since iOS 4.0, keeps a detailed time log as well as location co-ordinates that people can exploit in the future.
It’s not all doom and gloom though. This type of data could be increasingly useful in apps, should Apple make the API available to developers. Forget where you were on the weekend. Need to trace your tracks back to that cool bar? Need to find your car? Roll back the clock and reveal on a map where you were.
Don’t get me wrong — the fact that the information is unencrypted is a little bit alarming. Slashgear points out that up until this point, law enforcement would need a court order to get this information from carriers. It’s probably only a matter of time until we start seeing nefarious apps and web apps popping up around the internet to help stalkers stalk.
In order to avoid security concerns, you might want to make sure you encrypt your iOS backups in iTunes. At the very least you’ll stop people at home from spying on you. There’s been no mention of whether or not turning off location services will stop your phone from logging your location.