iSpy—Apple's Latest Technology
So, you're enjoying that shiny new Apple product, eh?
Showing it off to anyone who cares to listen to you, aren't you?
Well, guess what?
Your sexy new iPad/iPhone is tracking each and every move of yours. Yes, you read that right. Your iDevice is secretly tracking your moves. So, don't go off to places you aren't supposed to! ;)
Till now, the only company under the scanner for tracking users, was Google. But now, the 'oh-so-innovative' Apple's receiving the pressure. It now has to explain to its beloved users why their "cool" devices have been storing location data. The Privacy International Association has accused Apple of "astounding arrogance" over its "continued refusal to take part in any dialogue over privacy".
Eric King of Privacy International said, "Apple thinks it knows better than the rest of the industry when it comes to privacy. Other companies have faced heavy sanctions recently and now the finger is being pointed at Apple. They cannot continually refuse to engage."
But, what exactly does Apple do with all your data?
It's building a location database. Apple had earlier said in a 2010 letter that "These databases must be updated continuously to account for, among other things, the ever-changing physical landscape, more innovative uses of mobile technology, and the increasing number of Apple’s customers. Apple has always taken great care to protect the privacy of its customers."
So, if you switch off "Location Services" in Settings, Apple will remove personally identifying information and will encrypt the data before transmitting it from your phone to its servers. But, the only problem here is that the data stays on the phone (in form of a file that can't be viewed by the user) without the user's consent. Once you connect your iPad/iPhone to your computer, the file is transferred onto the computer automatically.
If a hacker chances upon that file in your computer, he can simply use one of the many freely available software programs on the Internet to decode that weakly encrypted file and see your detailed itinerary.
The file can also be viewed by an application available for the iPhone/iPad.
The icing on the cake is Pete Warden's (ex-Apple employee. Now, a British researcher) commented,"Apple has made it possible for almost anybody—a jealous spouse, a private detective—with access to your phone or computer to get detailed information about where you've been." It's 1984 all over again.
Here's a copy of Privacy International's letter to Steve Jobs.