Author Topic: You are all Lindsey Lohan now! Apple tracks your every move w/their iPhone  (Read 6329 times)

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Offline Dig

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Apple now collecting, sharing precise location of iPhone users

http://rawstory.com/rs/2010/0622/apple-collecting-precise-location-iphone-ipad-users/
By John Byrne
Tuesday, June 22nd, 2010 -- 9:41 am


The world's largest technology company by market capitalization may soon rival the National Security Agency in its ability to track Americans using their cell phones.

Apple Inc. is now tracking the "precise," "real-time geographic location" of iPhones, iPads and Macintosh computers -- and has unwittingly gotten its customers to sign off on their being tracked by making a little-noticed modification to the language in its apps store.

The company's "partners and licensees" will now be able to collect and store data about your location.

Apple's new privacy policy comes in the wake of a new "Find my iPhone" app the company approved which allows users to recover their lost phones using AT&T's location services.

Tracking digital consumers by location is nothing new. Websites routinely receive information about their users' locations in order to serve relevant advertising. For example, Raw Story's ad providers use information provided by readers' Internet service providers to serve ads appropriate to the region in which they're being read -- for example, you might get an ad for a political campaign in your area. You can opt-out here.)

But Apple's new terms and conditions allow it to store information about users' exact locations, a level of privacy intrusion not heretofore seen. Websites can tell users' locations down to a zip code, generally speaking, but they neither store nor track exact locations -- which Apple and AT&T can do using triangulation down to about ten feet.

(AT&T, if you remember, was a participant in the National Security Agency's warrantless wiretapping program, which allows the US government to track the phone numbers called by its citizens abroad. A whistleblower said that AT&T in fact had its own spy room in San Francisco for the government.)

Adds The Los Angeles Times:

The company says the data is anonymous and does not personally identify users. Analysts have shown, however, that large, specific data sets can be used to identify people based on behavior patterns.

An increasing number of iPhone apps ask users for their location, which is then used by the application or even uploaded to the app's maker. Apps like the Twitter application Tweetie and Google Maps make frequent use of location data, either to help the user get oriented geographically or to associate the user's action with a specific location (as when a tweet is geotagged).

Apple says in its privacy policy that it uses personal information to "improve our services, content, and advertising."

On Monday, Apple also rolled out its new advertising platform, iAd, for the latest version of its iPhone operating system (iOS 4). The company may well be integrating the location information into its advertising system -- for instance, to help local shops sell coupons to users in the neighborhood.

The new passage in Apple's terms and conditions is:

To provide location-based services on Apple products, Apple and our partners and licensees may collect, use, and share precise location data, including the real-time geographic location of your Apple computer or device. This location data is collected anonymously in a form that does not personally identify you and is used by Apple and our partners and licensees to provide and improve location-based products and services. For example, we may share geographic location with application providers when you opt in to their location services.

Some location-based services offered by Apple, such as the MobileMe “Find My iPhone” feature, require your personal information for the feature to work.

Ironically, The Los Angeles Times' parent company released their own iPhone app just two hours after they did a writeup on Apple's new privacy policy.

Mac OS Hints offers this tip to turn off "Location Services" in iPhone OS 4:

As iOS 4 is being released for upgrading today (you'll need iTunes 9.2 to do so), a lot of new features will be introduced. Many are brand new, but some resemble features introduced with the iPad and iPhone OS 3.2, and are improved beyond that.

One of them is the Location Services Settings, especially with respect to privacy controls.

In iPad, a little NE pointing arrow appears in the top bar to alert you that the GPS is being accessed from an application, and that function is now in iOS 4 as well. [crarko adds: My mistake: it appears this wasn't in iPhone OS 3.2, and is new.]

What's new is the ability to toggle on or off the ability of apps to use Location Services on a per app basis, much like Notifications. If you look in Settings » General » Location Services, all the apps that make use of the GPS are listed, along with the NE arrow icon if they have used Location Services in the past 24 hours. There is also a toggle switch for each app, to enable/disable the services.

Note you will no longer be presented with the dialog box asking for permission to use your current location in apps, but will instead be warned by an app that you've turned off that it can't get current information. An app which is enabled will display the arrow icon.
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H0llyw00d

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Not I, for I own no cell phone gizmo's!!

Offline tinfoiltruth

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if you read the whole paragraph in the privacy statement the last sentence says if you opt in for the location specific features.

IE. you open a app it says "Do you want to share your location?" then you click yes or no.

it is built in and could be abused by apple if they wanted. but they still make you feel like you have control.

Quote
To provide location-based services on Apple products, Apple and our partners and licensees may collect, use, and share precise location data, including the real-time geographic location of your Apple computer or device. This location data is collected anonymously in a form that does not personally identify you[\b] and is used by Apple and our partners and licensees to provide and improve location-based products and services. For example, we may share geographic location with application providers when you opt in to their location services.[\b][\quote]

H0llyw00d

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sort of like the ol cell days when you could turn off the GPS.....ain't turning it off anymore on any new gadgetry!

Offline Dig

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if you read the whole paragraph in the privacy statement the last sentence says if you opt in for the location specific features.

IE. you open a app it says "Do you want to share your location?" then you click yes or no.

it is built in and could be abused by apple if they wanted. but they still make you feel like you have control.

Quote
To provide location-based services on Apple products, Apple and our partners and licensees may collect, use, and share precise location data, including the real-time geographic location of your Apple computer or device. This location data is collected anonymously in a form that does not personally identify you[\b] and is used by Apple and our partners and licensees to provide and improve location-based products and services. For example, we may share geographic location with application providers when you opt in to their location services.[\b][\quote]

It is the same as the cameras on laptops/cellphones. If they really gave a shit about the 4th amendment, they would have a shade/cover to close the fricking thing like they used to. Also, all three branches of government are guilty of burning the 4th amendment.

All by design:


“The technotronic era involves the gradual appearance of a more controlled society. Such a society would be dominated by an elite, unrestrained by traditional values. [...] The capacity to assert social and political control over the individual will vastly increase. It will soon be possible to assert almost continuous surveillance over every citizen and to maintain up-to-date, complete files, containing even most personal information about the health or personal behavior of the citizen in addition to more customary data. These files will be subject to instantaneous retrieval by the authorities.”
https://www.mega.nu/ampp/privacy.html
-Zbigniew Brzezinski
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Offline tinfoiltruth

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It is the same as the cameras on laptops/cellphones. If they really gave a shit about the 4th amendment, they would have a shade/cover to close the fricking thing like they used to. Also, all three branches of government are guilty of burning the 4th amendment.

I am agreeing with you... but this is nothing new, this has been around since the first IPhone/Blackberry with GPS. 911 has always been able to pull co-ordinates from your cell phone to know where you are.

they let you think you can turn it off. by giving you the option but as we all know the gov can get that info whenever they want with the push of a button. if you get the right software you can get that info when you call someone.

maxeldee

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You can turn GPS off by taking the battery out.

Xill

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I never understood why people had cell phones except for other things than work.

5 reasons why I'll never get a cell phone:

First of all, it sounds like crap
Second, it gives heats your brain and put you at risk of getting cancer or a brain tumor (I actually care about myself)
Third, in involve thousands of cell phone phone towers in your city that also increase the risk of cancer (I also care about others)
Fourth, who in their right mind would want to be bothered all day long with phone calls? (I have something better to do with my free time than chit-chat)
Fifth, it's part of the big brother surveillance society, you are tracked and your habits are studied (Against my principles)

Offline UK Lyn

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I got Macs all thru my house just to get some 'privacy' over using Windows.
I want my money back.



Offline Overcast

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Your phone, yourself: When is tracking too much?
« Reply #9 on: April 24, 2011, 11:50:52 pm »
*Note the bold section.. *

From: USA Today -

Your phone, yourself: When is tracking too much?

SAN FRANCISCO — If you’re worried about privacy, you can turn off the function on your smartphone that tracks where you go. But that means giving up the services that probably made you want a smartphone in the first place. After all, how smart is an iPhone or an Android if you can’t use it to map your car trip or scan reviews of nearby restaurants?

The debate over digital privacy flamed higher this week with news that Apple’s popular iPhones and iPads store users’ GPS coordinates for a year or more. Phones that run Google’s Android software also store users’ location data. And not only is the data stored — allowing anyone who can get their hands on the device to piece together a chillingly accurate profile of where you’ve been — but it’s also transmitted back to the companies to use for their own research.

Now, cellphone service providers have had customers’ location data for almost as long as there have been cellphones. That’s how they make sure to route calls and Internet traffic to the right place. Law enforcement analyzes location data on iPhones for criminal evidence — a practice that Alex Levinson, technical lead for firm Katana Forensics, said has helped lead to convictions. And both Apple and Google have said that the location data that they collect from the phones is anonymous and not able to be tied back to specific users.

But lawmakers and many users say storing the data creates an opportunity for one’s private information to be misused. Levinson, who raised the iPhone tracking issue last year, agrees that people should start thinking about location data as just as valuable and worth protecting as a wallet or bank account number.

“We don’t know what they’re going to do with that information,” said Dawn Anderson, a creative director and Web developer in Glen Mills, Pa., who turned off the GPS feature on her Android-based phone even before the latest debate about location data. She said she doesn’t miss any of the location-based services in the phone. She uses the GPS unit in her car instead.

“With any technology, there are security risks and breaches,” she added. “How do we know that it can’t be compromised in some way and used for criminal things?”

Privacy watchdogs note that location data opens a big window into very private details of a person’s life, including the doctors they see, the friends they have and the places where they like to spend their time. Besides hackers, databases filled with such information could become inviting targets for stalkers, even divorce lawyers.

Do you sync your iPhone to your computer? Well, all it would take to find out where you’ve been is simple, free software that pulls information from the computer. Voila! Your comings and goings, clandestine or otherwise, helpfully pinpointed on a map.

One could make the case that privacy isn’t all that prized these days. People knowingly trade it away each day, checking in to restaurants and stores via social media sites like Foursquare, uploading party photos to Facebook to be seen by friends of friends of friends, and freely tweeting the minutiae of their lives on Twitter.

More than 500 million people have shared their personal information with Facebook to connect with friends on the social networking service. Billions of people search Google and Yahoo each month, accepting their tracking “cookies” in exchange for access to the world’s digital information. And with about 5 billion people now using cellphones, a person’s location has become just another data point to be used for marketing, the same way that advertisers now use records of Web searches to show you online ads tailored to your interest in the Red Sox, or dancing, or certain stores.

Autumn Bradfish, a sophomore at the University of Iowa, said she doesn’t see a problem with phone companies using her location to produce targeted ads, as long as they deliver relevant offers to her. She said she would not disable the tracking feature on her iPhone because she enjoys using a mapping app that helps her find new restaurants.

“I’m terrible with maps,” she said.

The very fact that your location is a moving target makes it that much more alluring for advertisers. Every new place you go represents a new selling opportunity. In that sense, smartphone technology is the ultimate matchmaker for marketers looking to assemble profiles on prospective customers.

That profiling is what makes some users uneasy.

At a technology conference in San Francisco this past week, security researchers disclosed that iPhones and iPads keep a small file of location data on their users. That file — which is not encrypted and thus vulnerable to hacking — is transferred when you sync your phone to your computer to back up information. Security firm F-Secure said the iPhone sends users’ location data to Apple twice a day to improve its database of known Wi-Fi networks.

The data that is available goes back to last year’s launch of Apple’s new iOS 4 operating software. Researchers say the tracking was going on before that, though the file was in a different format and wasn’t easy to find until the new system came out. In June, Apple added a section to its privacy policy to note that it would collect some real-time location data from iPhone users in order to improve its features.

While Apple has been silent about the latest findings, it has noted that its practice is clearly spelled out in user agreements. Other phone makers say the same
. Google acknowledged this past week that it does store some location data directly on phones for a short time from users who have chosen to use GPS services, “in order to provide a better mobile experience on Android devices.” It too stressed that any location sharing on Android is done with the user’s permission.

But consumer advocates warn that too many people click right through privacy notifications and breeze over or ignore such legalese. Case in point —some iPhone users who found about this past week about the data storage say they didn’t know anything about Apple’s tracking.

“It’s like being stalked by a secret organization. Outrageous!” said Jill Kuraitis, 54, a freelance journalist in Boise, Idaho. “To be actively tracking millions of people without notification? It’s beyond unacceptable.”

It’s easy to tell smartphone users that turning off tracking is as easy as finding their way to the settings menu. But to opt out of GPS service means preventing the software on your phone from using any information about where you are. That means cutting yourself off from the vast array of mobile apps that offer discounts and ads, allow you to connect more easily with friends who use social media, and simplify your life with map directions. Not a great trade-off.

And if you thought there were laws that curbed tracking, think again.

The government prohibits telephone companies from sharing customer data, including location information, with outside parties without first getting the customer’s consent. But those rules don’t apply to Apple and other phone makers. Nor do they apply to the new ecosystem of mobile services offered through those apps made by third-party developers.

What’s more, because those rules were written for old-fashioned telephone service, it’s unclear whether they apply to mobile broadband service at all — even for wireless carriers that are also traditional phone companies, like AT&T Inc. and Verizon.

Both the Federal Communications Commission and the Federal Trade Commission have said they are looking into the issue. But for now, it’s up to smartphone users to decide: Is it privacy they are most concerned about, or convenience?
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Ze1tge1st

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Re: Your phone, yourself: When is tracking too much?
« Reply #10 on: April 25, 2011, 07:26:29 am »
When is tracking too much?

When a human decides to watch you. Period.

Offline bigron

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Offline jofortruth

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Re: Your phone, yourself: When is tracking too much?
« Reply #12 on: April 25, 2011, 07:49:29 am »
iPhone Tracking Discussion - O'Reilly Channel:
http://www.youtube.com:80/watch?v=GynEFV4hsA0&feature=youtube_gdata_player



This is also used by companies so they can send target Ads to your cellphone, computer. So if this is the case, Apple must be sharing this info. How could this happen without it being shared.
Don't believe me. Look it up yourself!

Offline Overcast

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Re: Your phone, yourself: When is tracking too much?
« Reply #13 on: April 25, 2011, 08:16:50 am »
iPhone Tracking Discussion - O'Reilly Channel:
http://www.youtube.com:80/watch?v=GynEFV4hsA0&feature=youtube_gdata_player



This is also used by companies so they can send target Ads to your cellphone, computer. So if this is the case, Apple must be sharing this info. How could this happen without it being shared.


Yeah, and anyone along that 'chain of custody' so to speak; access to the networks/devices/servers/data bases where it's stored would easily be able to track whoever they wanted with these devices...

This would mean you are potentially including advertisers and more, along with whoever manages their data, could track:

Ex-Wives/Husbands
Police
Judges
Congressmen
Military Personnel
Political Enemies
Anyone..


Take Epsilon for example:  (Massive Breach at Epsilon Compromises Customer Lists of Major Brands) http://www.securityweek.com/massive-breach-epsilon-compromises-customer-lists-major-brands - you know at least one, if not many of them were probably a part of this. And they claim it was only 'such and such' data - if they were hacked into; who would even consider their ability to be sufficient to make that statement with any credibility whatsoever? They have no real idea of what was hacked, obviously the network wasn't secure enough to prevent this, so who's to say whatever supposed 'auditing' told them what was stolen is even remotely accurate - it could have been tampered with also.


It's not that all this wouldn't have significantly good uses, but that's assuming humanity wasn't rife with corruption - which seems to be growing faster than even technology, sadly.
And dying in your beds, many years from now, would you be willin' to trade ALL the days, from this day to that, for one chance, just one chance, to come back here and tell our enemies that they may take our lives, but they'll never take... OUR FREEDOM!

Offline Optimus

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April 25, 2011 10:30 PM PDT
Microsoft collects locations of Windows phone users
by Declan McCullagh

Like Apple and Google, Microsoft collects records of the physical locations of customers who use its mobile operating system.

Windows Phone 7, supported by manufacturers including Dell, HTC, LG, Nokia, and Samsung, transmits to Microsoft a miniature data dump including a unique device ID, details about nearby Wi-Fi networks, and the phone's GPS-derived exact latitude and longitude.

A Microsoft representative was not immediately able to answer questions that CNET posed this afternoon, including how long the location histories are stored and how frequently the phone's coordinates are transmitted over the Internet. Windows Phone currently claims about a 6 percent market share but, according to IDC, will capture about 21 percent by 2015 thanks to Microsoft's partnership with Nokia.

Microsoft does say, however, that location histories are not saved directly on the device. That's different from Apple's practice of recording the locations of visible cell towers on iPhone and iPad devices, which can result in more than a year's worth of data being quietly logged. Google's approach, by contrast, records only the last few dozen locations on Android phones.

Read more: http://news.cnet.com/8301-31921_3-20057329-281.html#ixzz1Kja6jC8h
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Offline Overcast

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Quote
Apple tracks your every move w/their iPhone

Not me though - I didn't trust the things from day one.

Locked into a specific company (AT&T), locked down tight, and Apple controls what you can and can't install on it.

It's like the fascist phone of the future. No thanks.
And dying in your beds, many years from now, would you be willin' to trade ALL the days, from this day to that, for one chance, just one chance, to come back here and tell our enemies that they may take our lives, but they'll never take... OUR FREEDOM!