Thursday, April 28, 2011

Some thoughts on iPhone Location Tracking issues

Recently we are reading lot of news about iPhone location tracking issues.

Apple's iPhone and iPad constantly track users' physical location and store the data in unencrypted files that can be read by anyone with physical access to the device.

Locations are tracked by triangulating near-by cellphone towers. That suggests that the movements are tracked even when an iDevice's GPS features are turned off.

Few Apple Customers filed class action lawsuit against Apple.

"By secretly installing software that records users every moves Apple has accessed Plaintiffs' computers, in the course of interstate commerce or communication, in excess of the authorization provided by Plaintiffs as described in the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act," the complaint states.

CNET reports that Microsoft's Windows Phone 7 software also collects data about device location, but does not store that location on the device itself -- instead transmitting it back to Microsoft.

Student researchers at Duke and Penn State  published results of an experiment in which they found that 15 of 30 popular Android apps systematically sent location data to ad networks in a variety of patterns.

Ad networks typically track Internet users’ movements around the Web and serve up ads based on their behaviors.

Note that wireless carriers also have the exact same data but  they won't give it up without a court order.

What do you think about this iPhone location tracking? You can share your comments and you can take the below poll.

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