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iOS location tracking file likely a bug, Apple could address issue with next udpate - Page 2

post #41 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by Maltz View Post

Yes, but a warrant is needed to access the cell phone company's records. It's not as accessible as an unencrypted file in your iTunes folder. And you can turn off Location Services to prevent sharing location information with advertisers.

A warrant is required to look at your iTunes folder, too.

And don't be too sure about needing a warrant for either case. That erstwhile bastion of citizen rights protection (aka Homeland Security) ROUTINELY bypasses your constitutional right to protection against unreasonable search and seizure, all in the name of 'national security'. They've even exercised their powers in cases relating to torrent downloads!

And you can of course encrypt your entire iPhone backup.
post #42 of 81
deleted
post #43 of 81
if you're a murdering rapist don't carry an iPhone with you. If you're a Dad, give one to your daughter just in case.
post #44 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacRulez View Post

I know this:

When Google makes a mistake that involves privacy, folks here grab their pitchforks ready to storm the castle.

But when Apple makes a mistake that involves privacy, folks here stumble over each other to see who can apologize for them faster.

This forum is the embodiment of "double standard".

Here's the difference between this and Google's Street View WiFi network data collection. They were actually loading that data into their databases and, supposedly, no one ever noticed, each time it was loaded, that there was all this data there that they weren't supposed to be collecting. So, Google's assertion that it was "inadvertent" -- i.e., a mistake -- isn't really plausible. There's no way Google could not have known for years that it was collecting this data.
post #45 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacRulez View Post

I know this:

When Google makes a mistake that involves privacy, folks here grab their pitchforks ready to storm the castle.

But when Apple makes a mistake that involves privacy, folks here stumble over each other to see who can apologize for them faster.

This forum is the embodiment of "double standard".

Amen.

This is obviously not a bug. Anyone who would even entertain the idea is just trying to protect their investment.
post #46 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by sommer182 View Post

There is no way this is a bug. EVERY cell phone, smart or dumb, can track your location via at a minimum triangulation. If the phone isn't actively storing this information, then a database somewhere at the cell provider sure as heck is. Why? Number one reason is for the government. Number two would be for financial reasons such as targeted advertising on smart phones. If they know where you are, then an ad can pop open in your browser for a nearby business. Again, no way this is a bug. EVERY phone company is tracking you like it or not.

You're right in that user tracking can be performed, that's even mandatory in the US (E-911) and will be in many other countries.

BUT, the fact that operators store location information is just not true (why would they?). Lawful interception systems exist to find the location and monitor a particular user's location when the law enforcement agencies need to do so. Otherwise there is no point in doing it let alone waste money and resource in storing the location of your users.

For location base advertising, it's quite simple. You define advertising regions (say an airport) and define triggers that when a user enters the area, a message is sent.

The fact that AI would call this "feature" a bug is borderline silly fanboyism. It is quite clear as to why it stores this information (speeding up of location detection when user requests it). The only bug is that they didn't do a better job of hiding the data (by encryption for example).

Regs, Jarkko
post #47 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mode View Post

Amen.

This is obviously not a bug. Anyone who would even entertain the idea is just trying to protect their investment.

Explain to me why would Apple keep this data on your iPhone after they already uploaded it to their server please?!
post #48 of 81
This file is a bit unsettling but when looked at rationally there is more info in the emails, text messages, apps and webpage requests I send to servers all day from my phone.

How many of you use the same password for AI as you do for at least one other site? How many of you have the same iTS password for another logon? How many of you have just a few select passwords you rotate or use in a hierarchy depending on how secure and honest you think the site is? Personally I use 1Password to generate complex unique passwords for ever logon. If one gets hacked server-side nothing else can be exposed. I also use a low-value CC for all online accounts and just pay it off weekly to keep my bank accounts separate from online retailers.


Quote:
Originally Posted by svesan03 View Post

if you're a murdering rapist don't carry an iPhone with you. If you're a Dad, give one to your daughter just in case.

But you wont know about their location until they bring it back home and sync it to iTunes. Even then you need access to that user account the iPhone backup resides and for that backup not to be encrypted via iTunes. Even if you then had access its just basic cell info and not very accurate compared to GPS.

It would be trivial for a criminal to delete their backups and restore their phone. It would also be trivial to grab your current GPS location for 911 calls and with warrants (which I hear is common place). For a father, AT&T has a paid service for getting GPS location of a device, not to mention MobileMes Find My iPhone service.
Dick Applebaum on whether the iPad is a personal computer: "BTW, I am posting this from my iPad pc while sitting on the throne... personal enough for you?"
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Dick Applebaum on whether the iPad is a personal computer: "BTW, I am posting this from my iPad pc while sitting on the throne... personal enough for you?"
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post #49 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by Maltz View Post

Yes, but a warrant is needed to access the cell phone company's records. It's not as accessible as an unencrypted file in your iTunes folder. And you can turn off Location Services to prevent sharing location information with advertisers.

Wait, are you saying you are more comfortable with your location data being gathered and stored by a phone company than with that data being stored on a phone and computer which YOU personally own and control?

By your standard, you should trust companies like Amazon to store your personal information & credit card info because you know, you shouldn't trust yourself with your credit cards and government issue ID card in your wallet. Its not encrypted. The need for a court order will stop hackers from obtaining this data from the phone company; just ask T-Mobile

"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
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"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
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post #50 of 81
A "bug". God knows if this happened to Microsoft, the Apple freaks would be going bonkers. But since it's Apple, no problem...
post #51 of 81
Time for folks to do a reality check.

As I said earlier, I don't believe that any senior management at Apple knew about or approved this. It's just not the sort of thing that fits with all the other things they do. It has the same "feel" to it as the Google WiFi problem - something done at lower level and, in Google's case, an oversight.

I think that the same is likely here also. As John Gruber put it - it's a bug. It's only supposed to keep the last location or two - not the whole list.
post #52 of 81
After reading and understanding the functionality of this so called "Bug" intentionally added in the June 2010 iOS update. I find it hard to digest that this feature is labeled as a bug; the fact that the file "consolidated.db" stores a years worth of data in an unencrypted state shows us how sloppy Apple is in regression testing code. The fact that consolidated.db is NOT encrypted is not a bug, its simply sloppy work.

Fail
post #53 of 81
OH NO! My iPhone is keeping a cache of the location services!

OH NO! My web browser is keeping a cache of my browsing history AND my passwords!

OH NO! Google is using my PERSONAL INFORMATION to advertise stuff to me!

OH NO! My Apache installation is keeping a log of people who access it and it gives me their IP Addresses so I can PINPOINT THEM ON A MAP OF THE WORLD! (and I have done this)

OH NO! My computer is keeping a log of ALL its activity and what I HAVE DONE!

OH NO! Everyone is blowing a god-damn cache file out of proportion!

... at night.

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... at night.

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post #54 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by gozar View Post

Does anyone know whether this is true of the Verizon iPhone? I can't get the iPhone Tracker program to find consolidated.db.

It will look for the file in your iTunes backup file from the iPhone. No backup or encrypted backup means no file (or no file found)
post #55 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by Prof. Peabody View Post

It never ceases to amaze me how many people just immediately jump to nasty conclusions based on no evidence at all.

Apple has probably one of the most stellar records on privacy in the industry. Yet these same weenies will defend Google to the death when there are multiple, grievous, instances of Google intentionally doing exactly the kind of nefarious things that they are taking Apple to task for. The kind of things Apple has actually never done.

It shows you what's really happening here. It's just plain old irrational hatred of a market leader simply because they are successful. If any of these posters are above the age of 12 or so, you should be ashamed of yourselves.


Yep, saying Bug... giggles. just makes me a google lovin Apple hatin fan..
Thanks for the quote
post #56 of 81
It is not a bug, it is a feature!!!!
post #57 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by plovell View Post

... It has the same "feel" to it as the Google WiFi problem - something done at lower level and, in Google's case, an oversight. ...

It doesn't "feel" anything like Google's WiFi data collection, and it's not plausible that Google's WiFi data collection was an "oversight". (And the two are not analogous at all, in Google's case, they took information from people's homes, In Apple's case, they left information on your phone and computer.)
post #58 of 81
Ahem. There's a system called ABS that is used to track the IMEI number of a any phone. It also gives location details, time of the call, numbers dialled, etc. They could already track you before this file, they can track you now. Thats why privacy laws exist...

So, to anyone thinking this file is evil or needs to be removed because of privacy implications. SHUT UP and go scream at your service provider. They'll have everything you've ever done on your phone tucked away in a server, linked to your personal details in a database.

I can't believe I forgot about the IMEI number. Lets also not forget the IP address which can also locate people on a Map. Lovely.

Now that this file has clearly been shown to be harmless, lets move on, k?

... at night.

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... at night.

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post #59 of 81
Perhaps we're just holding the handset wrong?
OK, can I have my matte Apple display, now?
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OK, can I have my matte Apple display, now?
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post #60 of 81
Is it just me, or do others share my guess that most people who post stupid negative comments on this site do so after reading a few catch words that make them go nuts.

They never read the articles do they? Only make up their own scenario and opinion based on a single word taken out of context.

I guess that is what bugs me.
post #61 of 81
This is very uncomfortable. I'm probably like many on this forum routing for "our favorite company," but with Big Brother already in our lives - with all of us welcoming him with open arms via our insatiable appetite for more sophisticated iPhones, iPads & the like - should we be surprised? Remember how we bitched mightily about Microsoft wanting to conquer the world? I'm wondering if that's going to turn out to be small potatoes as Apple closes in on Exxon-Mobil to claim the top banana spot.
post #62 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by anonymouse View Post

It doesn't "feel" anything like Google's WiFi data collection, and it's not plausible that Google's WiFi data collection was an "oversight". (And the two are not analogous at all, in Google's case, they took information from people's homes, In Apple's case, they left information on your phone and computer.)

Completely plausible IMO that they didn't take notice of the superfluous threads of code that had nothing to do with what they were searching out: wi-fi locations for location enhancement and benefiting both Google and the users of it's services. And assuming someone at some level noticed, there's no indications that any "authority" at Google was notified. What's not plausible is that they had any interest in segment of an email you sent your Aunt Edna, nor the text your wife composed.

A poster here surmised that Apple just never thought to look at what might inadvertantly be stored in "consolidated.db". Apple simply overlooked what was gathering in the file. A bug that they'll fix at some point. Yet you're certain that Google had nefarious plans for all the tidbits and remnants their wi-fi sniffers logged?
melior diabolus quem scies
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melior diabolus quem scies
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post #63 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post

Completely plausible IMO that they didn't take notice of the superfluous threads of code that had nothing to do with what they were searching out: wi-fi locations for location enhancement and benefiting both Google and the users of it's services. ...

What you describe is plausible. But, it's entirely implausible that they didn't notice they had all this data. In fact, it's entirely impossible they didn't realize, for years before it became public, what they were collecting. Anyone at Google stating otherwise is simply lying.
post #64 of 81
Shame on anyone who believes this "it's a bug" malarkey. Same as when Apple said "oops! we've been using the wrong code to display iphone signal strength." Bull.
post #65 of 81
A bug!??? WTF??? That's almost as bad as an excuse as "your holding it wrong dude"...
post #66 of 81
In response to the people who point out its just stored on your phone, how exactly do you know? I have a pay as you go iPhone, and I know that if I don't buy a data package each month it will burn through all its credit in a few hours, despite the fact it isn't set to sync anything. So all the time you phone must be sending some sort of data.

Personally I would say its just sloppy coding, but given how secretive Apple is they could have plans to sell the data in the future.
post #67 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

A file that stores a detailed history of the approximate location an iPhone or 3G-equipped iPad has been is a result of a bug in the iOS operating system,]

If so, it's a bug as big as Ballmer's "rounding error".
post #68 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mode View Post

Oops, we accidentally created a very complex algorithm with very specific time stamped tracking data and concealed it in a hidden file on you iDevice...

It's not a complex algorithm, it's just noting down what's about.

The algorithm you refer to is used specifically calculate an approximate position based on nearby cell tower and wifi hotspot strength. This would make use of what should have been a recent history of locations, without having to spin-up the GPS, it would have been used when using Skyhook or Google's non-GPS database too (i.e. prior to the logging in iOS 4.0)
post #69 of 81
This explains why my iPhone is so damn quick to get my location pretty much spot on almost instantly when I'm somewhere I've been before.

Definitely a good feature, but Christ they need to encrypt the database on the device (SQLite has this provision). Then, only Apple's software may access the raw data.

I agree, this will be fixed shortly, and it certainly sounds like a bug.

Too those saying it's only a bug because someone found out. This is true, like most bugs the original creators are unaware of the bug. Seeing as the data isn't going anywhere outside of the phone and the syncing iTunes library, I fail to see how a conspiracy theory can be reached from this.
post #70 of 81
If any of you were actually developers, you might know that a lot of time is spent debugging and testing. This feature was most likely part of a test suite that someone forgot to remove from the final build.
Cat: the other white meat
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Cat: the other white meat
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post #71 of 81
Bug, my ass!

"iOS 5 is the best phone we've ever made..." - Phil Schiller - Special Event September 12, 2012

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"iOS 5 is the best phone we've ever made..." - Phil Schiller - Special Event September 12, 2012

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post #72 of 81
WHAT?

Either Gruber is an idiot or a liar or both... This is much more than a simple bug... Apple is not that lame...

Gruber must have been asleep when he wrote this.....
post #73 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bwinski View Post

WHAT?

Either Gruber is an idiot or a liar or both... This is much more than a simple bug... Apple is not that lame...

Gruber must have been asleep when he wrote this.....

That means are all idiots or liars or both, and asleep.
Dick Applebaum on whether the iPad is a personal computer: "BTW, I am posting this from my iPad pc while sitting on the throne... personal enough for you?"
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Dick Applebaum on whether the iPad is a personal computer: "BTW, I am posting this from my iPad pc while sitting on the throne... personal enough for you?"
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post #74 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

That means are all idiots or liars or both, and asleep.

Yup...
post #75 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by elvis.anonymous View Post

How much crap are people willing to put up with to be seen as, (or to think that they are seen as) cool or 'cutting edge'?

See: Android, Google, "Do no evil", "Open".
post #76 of 81
Privacy is important.

Personally though, unless I'm a secret agent or cheating on my girlfriend/ boyfriend/ spouse who cares where I've been? There are all these "social" apps (which I still don't "get", BTW) where you report, along with Twitter, everywhere you're going and everything you're doing!

Now at home.
Later at work.
Then to the mall.
Maybe to a club at night (Oh noes! No, it's not a strip club, even then, so what)
Then back home.

Maybe I don't see my life as that exciting that I need to update everyone all the time where I'm going, where I've "checked into" and all that nonsense.

Maybe I'm getting old.

As for Apple, well, like I said, draw enough attention to it, and I think enough has been drawn, and they'll fix it, tighten their privacy policy, etc.

In the meantime, I'll go back to worrying about Google.
post #77 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by nvidia2008 View Post

Privacy is important.

Personally though, unless I'm a secret agent or cheating on my girlfriend/ boyfriend/ spouse who cares where I've been?

The question is, how much do you cherish your privacy if you have unfettered access to your PC’s user account where this file is stored? How much do you cherish it if you still back up your iPhone data unencrypted? How is this data worse in the hands of someone who stole your phone than the data of your emails, contact, safari history, calendar, and all other info for apps?

I’d like an answer from Apple now that it’s out there and because their cache file seems to store more info than the other mobile OSes, but I’m expecting any such response to be underwhelming and this issue will fizzle out before the weekend is up.

Quote:
There are all these "social" apps (which I still don't "get", BTW) where you report, along with Twitter, everywhere you're going and everything you're doing!

Now at home.
Later at work.
Then to the mall.
Maybe to a club at night (Oh noes! No, it's not a strip club, even then, so what)
Then back home.

Maybe I don't see my life as that exciting that I need to update everyone all the time where I'm going, where I've "checked into" and all that nonsense.

Maybe I'm getting old.

As for Apple, well, like I said, draw enough attention to it, and I think enough has been drawn, and they'll fix it, tighten their privacy policy, etc.

Facebook and Twitter can be used for a lot more than that. I mostly use Twitter as a replacement to many RSS feeds and Google News emails I used to receive.

I also use it like an Im group chat among my friends on Twitter. I post links to articles I find interesting, either to everyone or specifically to a person. Things that don’t require much text.

I also have Facebook for staying connected to family members. These are people I don’t have much in common with to chat with on a regular basis over the phone and can’t see in person easily. I get to see pictures and here something interesting that keeps me up to speed with what’s going on while allowing myself to read, or comment, at my leisure and keeping them from having to personally contact everyone on the list.

I first made the mistake of having Facebook with friends and my siblings, all of which share common interests. But even is wide spread and I don’t interact with all groups of friends the same way. They I reluctantly agreed to allow other family members. Then my mother finally wanted to be my buddy on Facebook. I didn’t want to explain to my mom what this inside joke meant from a friend… so I closed it out and created a new one just for family.

Pros and cons.

Quote:
In the meantime, I'll go back to worrying about Google.

Google has every single email I’ve sent and received since the service opened. Just sayin’.
Dick Applebaum on whether the iPad is a personal computer: "BTW, I am posting this from my iPad pc while sitting on the throne... personal enough for you?"
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Dick Applebaum on whether the iPad is a personal computer: "BTW, I am posting this from my iPad pc while sitting on the throne... personal enough for you?"
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post #78 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacRulez View Post

I know this:

When Google makes a mistake that involves privacy, folks here grab their pitchforks ready to storm the castle.

But when Apple makes a mistake that involves privacy, folks here stumble over each other to see who can apologize for them faster.

This forum is the embodiment of "double standard".

Sorry, I can't hear your indignation over the sound of the world's smallest violin
Please. Here's how you get people to join you on your Apple-haters pitchfork party:

Angry At Apple Pitchfork Party!!!

When: April 21, 2011
Where: AppleInsider Forums
Why: Because Apple is inside ur phonez stealing ur privacys!!!

Grab your pitchfork and torch and form an angry mob!
FREE DOOR PRIZES!
FREE PUNCH AND PIE!
OPEN BAR - DRINK SPECIALS!

"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
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"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
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post #79 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rockarollr View Post

Bug, my ass!

I'd rather not know what's up there, to be honest.
"We're Apple. We don't wear suits. We don't even own suits."
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post #80 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by Prof. Peabody View Post

It never ceases to amaze me how many people just immediately jump to nasty conclusions based on no evidence at all.

Apple has probably one of the most stellar records on privacy in the industry. Yet these same weenies will defend Google to the death when there are multiple, grievous, instances of Google intentionally doing exactly the kind of nefarious things that they are taking Apple to task for. The kind of things Apple has actually never done.

It shows you what's really happening here. It's just plain old irrational hatred of a market leader simply because they are successful. If any of these posters are above the age of 12 or so, you should be ashamed of yourselves.


You sir are a true lemming!
Keep an eye on your inbox....
We could use your talents in our upcoming march~
Until then, keep your head in the sand and your eye on the internet!!!
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