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Apple again sued over iPhone location data, personal information - Page 2

post #41 of 94
Quote:
Originally Posted by magicj View Post

● The data was being collected even when location services were turned off.
● The data was being collected hundreds, even thousands, of times per day (not the twice per day that some folks on this message board were claiming).
● The data was being stored for at least 1 year.
● The data _absolutely_ gave your location. Your location was triangulated off of cell towers and such in your area.
● The location was designed to have a minimum granularity of 1000 yards.
● Testimony made to Congress showed it was capable of tracking location within 20 feet.

I'd be very interested to see any 'official' information that confirms and documents all this, because I sincerely think you are cutting corners here and posting misinformation. I've read the very detailed analysis a forensic expert made about this issue (and published about it TWO YEARS ago), and as far as I understand it works like this:

Opt out of location services:
No location information traceable to you or your phone is sent to Apple, just anonymized data about nearby cell towers and access point, ie, it sends: 'there is a phone that says it connected to a cell tower, and the cell tower says it's over there'.

Location data collection:
The anonimized information about cell tower locations is periodically uploaded to Apple, so it can build it's crowd-sourced location database. Instead of gathering this data from iPhones, Apple could just as well have requested the locations of cell towers from the provider, look them up on a map, drive around the country mapping them themselves, whatever. That's not practical though, this works much better.

The location cache:
To improve the accuracy and speed of location services on the iPhone, Apple pushes parts of its cell tower/WiFi access point database to your iPhone, which means someone could exploit that data to make a coarse estimate of your location

The accuracy:
The accuracy of the information is NOT 20 feet or even 1000 yards like you said, even though the Skyhook system or the technology behind it was designed for that. The difference between Skyhook and the location cache is that you cannot use the location cache for triangulating positions, because it logs multiple tower/access point locations at the same time, and the data is stamped with the time the data was received, not the time you were actually at a certain location. It also doesn't log signal strengths, so you cannot triangulate anything after the fact. The only thing you can tell from the data is 'at that point in time, your phone was near any one of the following towers'. Nothing more.

The privacy issue:
Apple goofed up and made the cache far too large, which means the data is retained far longer than necessary. They also goofed up not encrypting it by default.

Quote:
● Copying the location data to the user's computer opened up a security hole that could have allowed them to be tracked via a trojan.

This is just utter BS, because you could use that argument for EVERY freaking piece of software that stores anything on your PC. It's like saying the postal service invades your privacy for delivering some piece of mail you didn't know you were getting, and someone could break open your mailbox and read your private letter. The fact that you have to resort to diversions like this says it all: we're splitting hairs here, trying to make a fuss about some technicalities that, to the letter of the law, might in theory have privacy implications, but in practice are probably one of the last aspects of privacy you should worry about in modern society.

Quote:
There is no question that Apple's claim that the information on the phone did not track the user's location is bogus. This is verified by:

You are selectively interpreting and bending reality here. Apple said it did not track USERS, or USER LOCATIONS, and no-one is disputing that. They WERE sending ANONIMIZED data about the location of your DEVICE, to build their location database. The fact that this location database turned out to be a privacy risk because (parts of) that location database also ended up back on your phone (which is traceable to you) doesn't change anything about this. The statement 'Apple does not track user locations' still holds and I can assure you that Apple will be acquitted of any claims against them that say otherwise.

Quote:
● Expert testimony to Congress.
● The originators of the technology being used clearly stating the purpose of the technology is to determine the location of the phone.
● It also takes only a moment to figure out that the iPhone cannot guess what cell towers, etc, are near its location without knowing its location to a reasonable degree of accuracy.

Here you are just acknowledging the fact that the whole location database thing is simply a technical solution to the problem of providing fast and accurate location services, not a user tracking tool. What the originators of the technology (I presume you mean Skyhook) designed their service for in the first place is completely irrelevant. The ONLY thing relevant is whether Apple could have better protected the location database, in which case it's pretty obvious they could have, they should have, and now they actually did do so. They publicly admitted they screwed up there. Case closed.

Quote:
As to the rest of your post, I will say it once again: We are past the point of pretending this wasn't a problem. We are now at the point of wondering what kind of legislation Congress will impose upon Apple and other companies for their addition flaws in handling customer privacy.

So just because some idiots decide to start a case against Apple (and Google, let's not forget that) means there was a real issue here? I guess you don't see a lot of lawsuits then....

Like I said: nothing will come out of this except for a few politicians fluffing their image of being concerned about user privacy. Nobody will be convicted or fined, and in the most extreme case, the only thing that will happen is that some token addendum will be added to some privacy law. That, and lots of tax dollars wasted. Meanwhile, Apple already patched iOS 2 weeks ago.

You are so obsessively trying to make Apple look bad here that I'm really starting to think you were sent here on a mission, trying to pollute this topic with FUD in the hope other people will skim over it and get the impression that Apple is the evil Big-Brother empire who is out their to mine every aspect of your life. Apple isn't even an advertising company, what do they have to benefit from your location data in the first place? Why are you side-stepping the fact that Google has been doing stuff like this for years, publicly and openly, and even have been convicted for blatant privacy intrusions (the Google street view cars thing)?
post #42 of 94
Sigh, late as it is, I can't help but write one last response.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bilbo63 View Post

For example, I get points towards groceries every time I use my MasterCard. They know what I like to buy and how often. From this data they can roughly determine my sex, age, how many people live in my house etc. Your internet provider knows how much time you spend online, where you go and what you download. I'm sure every purchase that is made with a card is recorded and kept. They know how often I travel and where I like to go. Where I get my car serviced. Who my dentist is. I'm betting that info has likely been sold many times over.

And this doesn't bother you? It should.

Why are people so addicted to plastic? It's really easy to carry cash around (for most basic purchases, I'm not talking about a computer or trip to the Bahamas), our society has done it for the last 100 years. Now people whip out their cards to buy a stinkin' pack of gum, it's pitiful.

The "savings" games are all bullshit, because the banks charge the merchants for each and every purchase, so we're all paying for it via higher prices, but then getting some portion of it back again, but if and only if you play their games. Our country is full of sheep. I need to stop, I should not be typing at this hour.
No Matte == No Sale :-(
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No Matte == No Sale :-(
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post #43 of 94
Quote:
Originally Posted by magicj View Post

Well, just to be clear, no one is accusing Apple of wrong-doing. Not Congress, not me. Privacy is a complex issue. The discrepancy between the court ruling and the DoJ testimony shows an example of that.

No it just shows that some people in the department of justice are lazy. If they can pass off IP addresses as evidence they can easily railroad people. It is sort of like convicting somebody for murder because use they were the last person to see the victim alive.

Now obviously the juries are a problem here as they frankly often bend over for the prosecution. The problem as I see it is that the department of justice is acting in an unethical manner. In effect they are ignoring spoofing methods and a lot of other techniques that can be used to blame somebody else for illegal activities.
Quote:
But that doesn't change the fact that glaring issues have been uncovered and need to be resolved. There is no question in my mind that the government will be passing quite a bit of legislation on this.

Nothing has been uncovered. Some of this stuff has been supported in the SDK since day one. Is it right. Well something's should be changed but you need to realize that Apple has been improving security constantly in iOS. Even with this effort it will never be 100% secure.

As to the government please don't be so damn gullible. The last thing we need is another thousand pages of legislation that does very little other than to make the unknowing feel good.
Quote:
I really think it's in Apple's best interest to solve these problems now and push to use their preferred solutions as a template for that new legislation. But for that to happen, they'll first have to admit to themselves that there are many issues with their current practices.

I really think you have a warpped sense of reality. You have this idea that someone can wave a magic wand and deliver unto us a perfectly secure phone. That isn't possible. In any event, as previously mentioned, Apple has been improving security with respect to iOS with just about every release and I fully expect them to continue that effort.

Frankly I don't understand your tone and emotion in this manner. You act like there is a major problem here. There is but it isn't with Apple but rather with people like you over reacting and not understanding all the issues involved. Let's face it some smart a$$ played a lot of people with this claim that Apple was tracking users. They did that with the flimsiest of evidence. In the end I hope you never end up as a juror as you seem to be way to easy to lead astray, though I imagine lazy prosecutors would love for you to fall under their spell.
post #44 of 94
Quote:
Originally Posted by magicj View Post

Anyone who access your computer can access the data. This would include things like trojan horse software. Someone accessing that data is how this first caught the public eye. http://petewarden.github.com/iPhoneTracker/ And it's why Apple stopped backing up the data to the computer.

No that's stupid. What computer doesn't have someone's personal information on it. Next thing you know browsers like Mozilla are going to be sued because they store the history of where you went on the internet.
post #45 of 94
Congress is wasting time on bull shit when people are still out of work.
post #46 of 94
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

What is an 'Apple consultant'? (Serious question).

Is someone with deep knowledge about the products Apple offer, also how to repair hardware and/or trained on Apple software. Knowledge of terms of service including privacy.
I can advise companies and governments about Apple products and how integrate and deploy them.
I don't have many certifications (expensive) but among the ones I have:
ACMT Apple Certified Macintosh Technician
ACSA Apple Certified System Administrator
Lots of training on different products ranging from iLife to xsan
post #47 of 94
Quote:
Originally Posted by magicj View Post

I'm just going to address this part, because the rest is going around in circles. It matters not at all if you choose to believe my previous posts. What you and I think is irrelevant. From this point on, all that matters is what governments will do regarding this issue.

This is not a matter of believing or not believing you, I simply disagree with most of what you say, except for the fact that Apple should have done more to secure the location cache. We can sit here all day exchanging our positions on this topic, but you are not going to convince me whatever you say. I've been fascinated with this whole location database thing (mostly from a technical perspective, personally I've lost the illusion of having any privacy in the first place long ago), and I think I know almost all the angles here. I'm not interested in the whole legal game that is played around it, just in the ACTUAL, REAL-WORLD, PRACTICAL implications of this issue. My judgement is that there are none, and that the best thing that could happen is if everyone just stopped with the nonsense and just went on with their lives. Apparently I can't convince you either.

The only thing I can say about this, is that the lawsuit and the fuss about this issue are ludicrous and hypocritical, and that nothing about this is actually about privacy. The fact that so many people go nuts over this, and pretend there really is a privacy issue here that you should care about is actually pretty sad if you ask me. It only distracts from real privacy issues, such as giving up your first-born just to board a flight into the US, getting sued because your IP address is flagged as a pirate, the government wiretapping as if it's day-to-day business (2 million times a year where I live, in a country of 16 million), devices in my car that track my every movement so I can get taxed based on where I drive at what time, etc. A stupid location cache that is mostly useless for tracking anything, or the fact that my phone sends anonimized data about cell towers near me, really is the least of my concerns.
post #48 of 94
Quote:
Originally Posted by magicj View Post

I just want to address a couple of parts of your post.

First, no, it is not in the user agreement. Apple's policy is developers cannot access that data. When they discover someone who does, they require that they stop doing it. As to who Apple should report them to, at the very least Apple should inform their customers who've had their data stolen.

You don't know what you are talking about. I'd suggest downloading the SDK but I'm not sure you would grasp what you are reading. In short though Apple provides routines for developers to use to access specific data stores, it has been like that for ages.
Quote:

Here you are mixing privacy from the government with privacy from corporations. They are not at all the same thing. With as much power as the government has to invade your privacy, it pales to the powers corporations have. Basically, there are very few rules governing corporations in this area and most of the rules that do exist are out-dated. A big part of the Congressional hearings dealt with the best way to correct this situation.

Privacy is privacy and doesn't come in degrees.
Quote:
If you really care about this issue, and it seems you do, I'd recommend watching the entire hearing. It's here: http://cspan.org/Events/Congress-Loo...10737421417-1/

What I care about right now is refuting the crap you are posting. Honestly you need to put a few more brain cells to work on this.
Quote:

Even with today's weak laws, this is not true. Specifically, if a company states their privacy policy is XYZ and it turns out that's not the case, they can be prosecuted.

I'm pretty much convinced you don't grasp the reality of what is possible and what is wishful thinking. Frankly if you can't see the political motivation in these hearings you are grossly out of touch. If there was any honesty at all in congress they would be after Microsoft with a vengeance. Really which platform has leaked more personal information over the years. All that is happening here is that a few lawyers want a piece of Apples cash hord. If the lawyers and the fools in congress where interested in the safety of personal information the only party with a really poor track record here is MicroSoft, they however have been left out of the party thus you really should be asking why.

Sadly at this point I don't think there is much good in continuing this conversation. You seem to have fallen under the spell of people rehashing things that have been known for years now and don't grasp what is being said in this forum.
post #49 of 94
Quote:
Originally Posted by magicj View Post

There is a distinction between having personal information on a computer and having personal information that is publicly known to be in a given location, in a given format, and to contain specific information, placed there without your knowledge or consent.

Again, all these attempts to claim Apple was doing the right thing are futile. Apple admitted it made a mistake and has already corrected it. The issue now are the other mistakes it's making.

There has to be a 100 million people laughing at you right now. This is beyond belief.
post #50 of 94
I have to say guys you're not giving magicj a very fair hearing. Some of what he says is a little silly but he makes some very good points. He's not vitriolic, he's just pointing out that Apple stuffed up on consolidated.db and that he isn't happy with how data is currently looked after by iOS. He has that right.

It would help if those labelling anyone with a different opinion to theirs 'ignorant' would at least first learn to use English properly. Some very poorly written sniping on this thread and it only makes the insulter look foolish.
post #51 of 94
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

There has to be a 100 million people laughing at you right now. This is beyond belief.

I think he's under the impression that someone clever enough to hack into his computer, would be completely lost once he got in.

"Wow I'm in, now what the f*k should I do? What are all these things called 'Program Files', 'My Documents', 'My Personal Settings' and what should I do with them?? Damn, crap, this is all to complicated, let's just get the iPhone location database instead, because at least I know that's supposed to be in <insert insanely long path full of cryptic stuff that is different on every iTunes installation>!"

post #52 of 94
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bilbo63 View Post

I think that these privacy discussions are good but for crying out loud, so much of our personal information is out there now, and has been for years. This is not an Apple only issue, like some are trying to make it. Sadly money grabbers are trying to paint evil scenarios and trying to cash in. I'm not saying that Apple cannot do better and I believe that they will, but I don't think that they are doing anything terrible here and I certainly don't believe that they are taking liberties with your info that other companies have had for years.

For example, I get points towards groceries every time I use my MasterCard. They know what I like to buy and how often. From this data they can roughly determine my sex, age, how many people live in my house etc. Your internet provider knows how much time you spend online, where you go and what you download. I'm sure every purchase that is made with a card is recorded and kept. They know how often I travel and where I like to go. Where I get my car serviced. Who my dentist is. I'm betting that info has likely been sold many times over.

As I said, these discussions are good, but people need to stay reasonable. If we go crazy over our personal information, then be prepared to deal in cash and use no mobile electronic devices, use no points programs or options cards, no web surfing, web searches, web purchases. Even that won't guarantee that you don't leave some sort of breadcrumbs.

Good post!

Here's another development that is in the works, and has been discussed over the years:

The desire by governments all over the world, to discontinue the production and distribution of paper monies and coinage, for assorted reasons, but most of all (as they say) to finally beat down tax-cheats and illegal (drugs, weapons dealers, terrorist) activities.

Even though it "could be" a huge savings and certainly effective, the complete "tracking" of every penny you spend and where, is definitely worth worrying about.
Knowing what you are talking about would help you understand why you are so wrong. By "Realistic" - AI Forum Member
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Knowing what you are talking about would help you understand why you are so wrong. By "Realistic" - AI Forum Member
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post #53 of 94
Quote:
Originally Posted by magicj View Post

Anyone who access your computer can access the data. This would include things like trojan horse software. Someone accessing that data is how this first caught the public eye. http://petewarden.github.com/iPhoneTracker/ And it's why Apple stopped backing up the data to the computer.

In other news, people shocked to find out anyone who gained access to your wallet will be able to steal your money.
post #54 of 94
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jonamac View Post

I have to say guys you're not giving magicj a very fair hearing. Some of what he says is a little silly but he makes some very good points. He's not vitriolic, he's just pointing out that Apple stuffed up on consolidated.db and that he isn't happy with how data is currently looked after by iOS. He has that right.

No that's not "just what he's pointing out". If he would have said "Apple should have been more careful with the location cache" and left it there, I would honestly agree with him. Instead, this topic has now been stuffed with pages full of zany accusations that Apple rapes your privacy, that it's damn right they are prosecuted for it, that all kinds of new privacy laws are needed, that people should be really worried about bad Apple and the way they think about your privacy, and so on.

Quote:
It would help if those labelling anyone with a different opinion to theirs 'ignorant' would at least first learn to use English properly. Some very poorly written sniping on this thread and it only makes the insulter look foolish.

It's spelled 'labeling', not 'labelling'. Did it ever occur to you not everyone here is a native english speaker?

You know what time it is when the grammar nazi's kick in, time to get out of this topic...
post #55 of 94
Quote:
Originally Posted by magicj View Post

I think I'm under the impression that there's a difference between a fishing expedition and going right to predefined data placed on the computer without the user's consent.

Edit:
And, for the umpteenth time, there's no point in arguing this. Apple has admitted they were wrong and removed the file.

Dude, of all the stuff installed on your PC, the location of your iTunes backup is probably one of the least predictable you can imagine. You have to dig about 10 levels deep in your iTunes folder to find it, and the path is different on every iTunes installation, since some of the path elements are based on GUIDs (if you even know what they are). Getting to your emails, your documents, your photo's, your address book, any data saved by applications, and so on, and so forth, it's either much easier, or exactly as easy. I have no idea why you are trying to make this point because makes no sense whatsoever.

The fact that Apple removed the file only shows that they acknowledge they messed up by not encrypting it by default, something I have't challenged a single time here.
post #56 of 94
Quote:
Originally Posted by magicj View Post

Minus the hyperbole, yes, that's exactly what I'm saying. I'd phrase it like this:

● Apple's is inept at properly handling even basic privacy concerns.
● In cases where Apple's practice do not match their policy, they can be and should be sued and/or Federal action should take place, either through updating laws, investigations from the appropriate executive branch authorities, or both.
● New privacy laws (plural) to protect consumers are not only needed, but are coming.
● Consumers should be concerned and, equally important, they should be informed. Watching the Congressional hearings is a great place to start. Listening to Apple Fanboys make an uninformed, weak sauce defense of their favorite company, not so much.

This is last thing I'm going to say on this topic: you are now so obviously trying to stuff this topic with statements that serve no other purpose than to make Apple look bad, that I'm almost 100% sure you are a shill.

Your style of commenting, your non-sequitur arguments, and the fact that you obsessively try to make sure there are more of your posts saying negative things about Apple instead of trying to have an intelligent conversation based on arguments says it all. You are here to spread FUD, not because you care about privacy.
post #57 of 94
Quote:
Originally Posted by magicj View Post

Good point, but there is a difference. The computer has the ability to restrict access to data. For example, Google requires the user to approve access to a user's contact list. Apple doesn't.

Ok buddy, tell me how you will get access to my contact info, cause I am not using it as screensaver, I am behind firewalls and lil snitch, the computer password protected and have a dog in my apartment.
My iPhone is locked almost all the time cause I use my bluetooth headset and the only 2 things i can connect to it is the headset and my main iMac.
Have no fishy app installed, my phone is not jailbroken.

Please tell me... \
post #58 of 94
Quote:
Originally Posted by magicj View Post

Apple knew what they had done was a serious mistake. It's why they were so quick to fix it and why the fix completely removed the file from the computer.

That this data was stored on your computer is not a serious mistake. Not even close. EVERY program that runs on your computer saves data to the computer. What it is, is a minor oversight. An oversight that has harmed no one and is being remedied in the next release of iOS which will no longer save the info on your computer. Big whoop.

This oversight would have been fixed even without all the hoopla. Nothing nefarious is going on here. Personal data was saved to your computer. Just like every other application under the sun. The same computer you should have protected with security passwords and keep in a safe place (maybe even locked up depending on where you use it) I might add.

The only 100% protection here is not to use a computer at all because after all, it may be stolen and someone may gain access to your data.

And again. You've been robbed or someone has gained access to ALL the personal information in your computer and what you're most worried about is data that divulges the round-about locations you've visited?

Priorities. They're important.
post #59 of 94
Something tells me that this is only a big deal because it is Apple. Obviously when Sony's database is hacked and tens of thousands of users addresses and other personal information is stolen it's not a big deal. But because Apple saves a file of general location to your computer, they get taken to the DoJ.

Something's fishy.
post #60 of 94
Quote:
Originally Posted by magicj View Post

I'd like to give Apple the benefit of the doubt and say their heart is in the right place. It's just getting harder and harder to do that. The revelation at the Congressional hearings that iOS allows any app developer to pull _all_ your contact information without your permission or even your knowledge was pretty surprising to me, for example.


Unfortunately for Apple, that file was shown to be able to track one of the folks who testified to Congress to within 20 feet of his actual location as determined by GPS. Also, Skyhook, the originator of the technique used to create that file, says it was designed to track individuals to within 200 - 1000 meter accuracy, not the 100s of miles claimed by Steve Jobs in a press release. http://www.skyhookwireless.com/howitworks/

The lies are wearing thin and it's time for Apple to provide a complete end-too-end privacy policy that isn't packed with smoke and mirrors. They can do it themselves, or they can have the government do it for them.

Seriously, you need to stop jumping to erroneous conclusions based on incorrect assumptions. For example assuming that Skyhook knows precisely what the file config is is silly - they don't know what if any modifications that Apple has made to the original config. And if you had read carefully Jobs said that SOME of the locations were up to 100s of miles away. Again, you are rabidly and deliberately misunderstanding the use of the file by Apple to support your paranoia. The testimony didn't report whether that person was within 20 feet of a Wifi unit, unlikely that it would have been a cell tower (without noticing). This is an epic fail commentary - demonstrating a serious lack of technological understanding and a complete failure to read for actual comprehension.

So probably best for you to go back to using a simple feature phone to ease your self-generated discomfort over a non-issue. But don't use your credit card at any local merchants, don't register for driver's licenses, don't use Paypass on the tollways, and don't write any checks. Don't list on Facebook. In fact don't use your browser, stay of the internet altogether really. You are hemorrhaging personal information like a hemophiliac in a slasher movie.
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If you are going to insist on being an ass, at least demonstrate the intelligence to be a smart one
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post #61 of 94
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blah64 View Post

Sigh, late as it is, I can't help but write one last response.



And this doesn't bother you? It should.

Why are people so addicted to plastic? It's really easy to carry cash around (for most basic purchases, I'm not talking about a computer or trip to the Bahamas), our society has done it for the last 100 years. Now people whip out their cards to buy a stinkin' pack of gum, it's pitiful.

The "savings" games are all bullshit, because the banks charge the merchants for each and every purchase, so we're all paying for it via higher prices, but then getting some portion of it back again, but if and only if you play their games. Our country is full of sheep. I need to stop, I should not be typing at this hour.


Within reason, no, it doesn't bother me.

For example if my "dossier" indicates that I prefer to vacation in St. Maarten, I might magically see ads for good deals on St. Maarten vacations. I'm actually not opposed to that. Targeted advertising does have it's benefits. I'd rather see ads for products and services that I'm likely to actually need or use, rather than ads for make-up and feminine hygiene products.

To my knowledge, using my debit card to buy groceries has not harmed me in any way. Sure, they know that I prefer Corn Flakes to Apple Jacks and Monterey Jack cheese to marble, but so what? I earn about $300 a year in free groceries via my debit card and MasterCard.

As long as things don't go too far, I can live with them knowing that my favourite snack is a cold Bacardi Limon with Coke and some Cool Ranch Doritos... And now you all know too. Oh my.

Cheers!
post #62 of 94
Quote:
Originally Posted by magicj View Post

Unfortunately for Apple, that file was shown to be able to track one of the folks who testified to Congress to within 20 feet of his actual location as determined by GPS.

Which simply means that that person spends a lot of time in an area with a lot of wifi hotspots. And possible very close to a cell tower.

it's like that for me at home. My apartment is on top of a book store with free wifi, I have my wifi and that of pretty much every other of the 49 units in the building, plus the free wifi in our business center. There's a Starbucks and a Coffee Bean across the street and a public library a block over on the other side.

Am I shocked that my 'home' area is very close to my real home. Hells no.

Now get out on the road and there's a ton of spots I've never been anywhere near. That come from the crowd.

Am I worried no. THe government can get my exact GPS from ATT thanks to their laws and this file is only on my iphone, ipad and computer. You get any of those three and you have access to much more damaging stuff than knowing what wifi spots my stuff has likely been hear and when it might have happened.

As for the whole UDID issue, where's the database that shows who has what id. that's the piece I haven't seen anyone detail. They always seem to talk about 'might' and 'maybe'. And generally based on you giving up personal details during a sign up process.

Quote:
Originally Posted by magicj View Post

Apple knew what they had done was a serious mistake. It's why they were so quick to fix it and why the fix completely removed the file from the computer.

I doubt that Apple views this as even a minor mistake, outside of the length of the file which is a bit extreme and probably was a bug. They are "fixing" it because sometimes it just isn't worth fighting a case. When location services based functions end up sucking it will be the fault of the users for demanding the file be removed or adjusted, and Apple will use that line if needed. That will be easier than trying to explain the tech to the 99.9% of the user population that aren't techies. Just like it was easier to give out some free cases as a placebo for an antenna that wasn't broken.

But at no time is Apple going to say "We made a mistake" because they don't view it that way. And even if the Senate says they did, Apple will never agree with that assessment.



Quote:
Originally Posted by plokoonpma View Post

Just to add on the IP matter.
Judge Harold Baker of the Central District Court of Illinois ruled this recently. The decision handed down from his bench states that an Internet Protocol (IP) address does not necessarily correlate to a particular individual, and that it cannot be treated as such during legal investigations be they civil or criminal.

Quote:
Originally Posted by magicj View Post

Interesting, because at the Congressional hearings with Apple and Google the Department of Justice testified to Congress that it can be used for that purpose, as did a privacy expert.

These two statements are not 100% contradictory. Baker is merely pointing out that there is a flaw in the system so one must be careful about using the IP address is the only source of identity .

The Flaw? Easy. Wifi makes it easy to 'ghost' who you are simply by changing networks.

Example. I mentioned I live in an apartment building. Well at least 4 of the networks in my building have no password. Plus I have those two very open networks across the street. Lets say I want to torrent a movie but I know that the studios jump on torrents to pull IPs to have them cut off by their ISPs. So I"m not going to use my own network. I'll switch to one of those unprotected ones. Now my laptop is showing as the IP linked to the DSL/Cable Modem on that wifi router. Not mine. So my neighbor is the one that will be screwed. Or if they trace it back to Starbucks and guess it must be someone local, there's a good 10 apartments on my side of the building and two other buildings within a reasonable distance it could also be. They would have to find some additional way to figure out which of us it was.

With a cell phone etc it is worse cause you could be changing wifi nets left and right and thus showing up at different IP addresses.

That's the kind of thing that Baker is talking about.

Quote:
Originally Posted by yensid98 View Post

Something tells me that this is only a big deal because it is Apple. Obviously when Sony's database is hacked and tens of thousands of users addresses and other personal information is stolen it's not a big deal. But because Apple saves a file of general location to your computer, they get taken to the DoJ.

ANd lets not forget about the media. The papers, blogs etc will drag this out as long as they can because they know the math. For every one hit on an ad laden site that some other topic gets, there will be easily 1000 for anything about Apple. That's money in the bank

A non tech's thoughts on Apple stuff 

(She's family so I'm a little biased)

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A non tech's thoughts on Apple stuff 

(She's family so I'm a little biased)

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post #63 of 94
Quote:
Originally Posted by magicj View Post

Perhaps you should send this to Senator Franken. No doubt he would prefer your hand waving to the expert testimony and the documented and demonstrated capabilities of the device that he was given.


Thanks, but I prefer to get informed on what's actually going on and what can be done to improve the situation. You might want to give it a try. http://cspan.org/Events/Congress-Loo...10737421417-1/

How many times are you going to spam that link? Honest answer please: are you in any way affiliated with any of the parties involved in this case, or any party directly or indirectly served by more exposure of this whole legal circus?

No way some random guy on the internet that isn't somehow involved in this or benefits from it some way or another would be posting the way you do, you are making it all way too obvious. Who has been asking or even instructing you to hang around here posting all this crap?
post #64 of 94
Quote:
Originally Posted by d-range View Post

How many times are you going to spam that link? Honest answer please: are you in any way affiliated with any of the parties involved in this case, or any party directly or indirectly served by more exposure of this whole legal circus?

No way some random guy on the internet that isn't somehow involved in this or benefits from it some way or another would be posting the way you do, you are making it all way too obvious. Who has been asking or even instructing you to hang around here posting all this crap?

magicj must be the one suing Apple

It is amazing our country has so many issues like high debt, high unemployment, decreasing education level, high pension cost, etc etc and they (government) elected to get on this issue? WTF wrong with our country??
post #65 of 94
I just figured out that the phone company has published a book with my name, address and phone number. Anyone can have access to one of these, and come to my house, ring my doorbell to know if I'm home. If I'm not... they can come into my house, go to my computer and get the locations db file. Oh wait... it's no longer stored there! Guess they will have to settle for my stereo, tv and computer without knowing where I have been in the last year.
post #66 of 94
Quote:
Originally Posted by See Flat View Post

I just figured out that the phone company has published a book with my name, address and phone number. Anyone can have access to one of these, and come to my house, ring my doorbell to know if I'm home. If I'm not... they can come into my house, go to my computer and get the locations db file. Oh wait... it's no longer stored there! Guess they will have to settle for my stereo, tv and computer without knowing where I have been in the last year.

QFT

All this freak out about a file stored on our personal devices. Devices which we obviously have security control over. Password locks, backups, encryption, etc.

Better not save any data on your computer because someone may get it! OMG!
post #67 of 94
Quote:
Originally Posted by magicj View Post

I think that's a very good question. It was raised in the Congressional hearings and the answer is that privacy needs to be built in from the start.

It's all very good and well that you've taken these precautions (you could also encrypt your drive). But these hearings aren't about you. They're about privacy policy in general. So let's contrast Apple's current policy with Google's current policy:

● Apple states on paper that developers cannot access a user's contact data. If Apple discovers a developer doing that, the require the developer to remove such functionality within 24 hours or have their app removed from the store. No other action is taken.

● Google programmatically prohibits apps from accessing contact data without the user's permission.

In this particular case, Google has privacy built in from the start, whereas Apple relies on random checks or an app being reported to the company for bad behavior.

At the end of the day, neither of these policies are perfect. Neither does everything that can (and should) be done to protect the user. But Google's policy is more robust. I'll hazard a guess that Google's policy is probably the direction the new regulations will go.

Note that I'm not trying to generalize this particular example to all of Google and Apple. Google has issues of its own regarding privacy.

Really?? You are pro google?? what a joke. SO you are saying that that very single feature makes google safer??? Now i finally get all your are about. I think is ok if u like google but whatever you say regarding this theme will be in vane since u lack of knowledge. Seriously is very silly of you post all that garbage and I know you will reply, post the link of the video. I saw it live and what Bud said is not even close to what you are saying. I just wonder if you come from denmark.
post #68 of 94
Quote:
Originally Posted by yensid98 View Post

That this data was stored on your computer is not a serious mistake. Not even close. EVERY program that runs on your computer saves data to the computer. What it is, is a minor oversight. An oversight that has harmed no one and is being remedied in the next release of iOS which will no longer save the info on your computer. Big whoop.

This oversight would have been fixed even without all the hoopla. Nothing nefarious is going on here. Personal data was saved to your computer. Just like every other application under the sun. The same computer you should have protected with security passwords and keep in a safe place (maybe even locked up depending on where you use it) I might add.

The only 100% protection here is not to use a computer at all because after all, it may be stolen and someone may gain access to your data.

And again. You've been robbed or someone has gained access to ALL the personal information in your computer and what you're most worried about is data that divulges the round-about locations you've visited?

Priorities. They're important.

Exactly.

If someone's got access to your computer's information, this tracking information would be the last thing I would be worried about.
post #69 of 94
Quote:
Something tells me that this is only a big deal because it is Apple. Obviously when Sony's database is hacked and tens of thousands of users addresses and other personal information is stolen it's not a big deal.

Who has said thats not a big deal? I know several PS3 owners who think it is a MAJOR deal.
post #70 of 94
Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffDenver View Post

Who has said thats not a big deal? I know several PS3 owners who think it is a MAJOR deal.

Well you don't see it being reported on daily by major news sites (CNN, NYT, etc) and Sony hasn't been called into the DoJ or any other governmental agency. It seems like in this case of STOLEN information, the only people who care about it are gamers and Sony haters. I find it suspect that those crying foul on Apple aren't paying at least as much attention when personal information has actually been stolen from a major multi-billion dollar company. Doesn't that deserve more front page notice than a file stored locally?

Again, Apple is what's drawing the attention here, not the "threat."
post #71 of 94
Quote:
Originally Posted by d-range View Post

No that's not "just what he's pointing out". If he would have said "Apple should have been more careful with the location cache" and left it there, I would honestly agree with him. Instead, this topic has now been stuffed with pages full of zany accusations that Apple rapes your privacy, that it's damn right they are prosecuted for it, that all kinds of new privacy laws are needed, that people should be really worried about bad Apple and the way they think about your privacy, and so on.

Your accusations against him just aren't true. You've exaggerated out of all proportion. He has a right to his opinion without being labelled a spreader of 'FUD' etc. There are too many people on here who won't hear even a whisper of malcontent against Apple and it's plain irrational.

I don't agree with a lot of what he says either, but I haven't read anything in his comments to warrant the dismissal of his contribution as troublemaking. Several of the remarks made in reply to his simply told him he didn't know what he was talking about, or just outright insulted him, without countering any of his points.

Quote:
Originally Posted by d-range View Post

It's spelled 'labeling', not 'labelling'. Did it ever occur to you not everyone here is a native english speaker?

You know what time it is when the grammar nazi's kick in, time to get out of this topic...

You should check your facts before you lay on the smugness. Labelling is the correct British spelling. I am British. Expecting people entering a rational debate to make their points coherently has been a mainstay of the written word for hundreds of years for a reason; you sound like a damned fool when you throw mud at someone in broken English, a little like you sound a damned fool when you correct someone's English wrongly.

Quote:
Originally Posted by d-range View Post

post #72 of 94
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bilbo63 View Post

For example, I get points towards groceries every time I use my MasterCard. They know what I like to buy and how often. From this data they can roughly determine my sex, age, how many people live in my house etc. Your internet provider knows how much time you spend online, where you go and what you download. I'm sure every purchase that is made with a card is recorded and kept. They know how often I travel and where I like to go. Where I get my car serviced. Who my dentist is. I'm betting that info has likely been sold many times over.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Blah64 View Post

And this doesn't bother you? It should.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bilbo63 View Post

Within reason, no, it doesn't bother me.

I think we can agree that for every individual there is a different level of "within reason". For many different scenarios, some literally for safety, some financial, some personal.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bilbo63 View Post

For example if my "dossier" indicates that I prefer to vacation in St. Maarten, I might magically see ads for good deals on St. Maarten vacations. I'm actually not opposed to that. Targeted advertising does have it's benefits. I'd rather see ads for products and services that I'm likely to actually need or use, rather than ads for make-up and feminine hygiene products.

For the most part, this can be done (and has been done for 50 years) simply by targeting toward the demographic of the web site, article content, TV show, magazine, etc... And I have no problem with that at all. It's not AS accurate as profiling, but it's reasonably accurate without delving into personal privacy issues. You don't find feminine hygiene ads when you're reading here on AI.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bilbo63 View Post

To my knowledge, using my debit card to buy groceries has not harmed me in any way. Sure, they know that I prefer Corn Flakes to Apple Jacks and Monterey Jack cheese to marble, but so what? I earn about $300 a year in free groceries via my debit card and MasterCard.

You may "save" $300/year, but it's false savings. The prices were jacked up to recover the merchant fees. Then a portion of that gets distributed back to the consumers who are willing to play these games. Those of us who refuse to kowtow to the banks are in essence subsidizing your purchases (you're welcome!), but there's a ton of overhead involved; if they didn't play all these games in the first place you'd be saving a lot more. All these "loyalty card" systems (which have been shown to NOT improve loyalty) piss me off, so I just tend to shop in the higher-end stores (in my area anyway) that don't use them. Lo and behold, their prices are (generally) lower for the same items without all the crap!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bilbo63 View Post

As long as things don't go too far, I can live with them knowing that my favourite snack is a cold Bacardi Limon with Coke and some Cool Ranch Doritos... And now you all know too. Oh my.

The problem is that all this data is being shared more and more, and it's hard to know where it will end up. Your insurance company would love to know exactly how many Bacardi Limon with Coke you have every week. If it's greater than N, then they would be happy to raise your rates (auto) or drop your coverage (medical). To my knowledge this isn't happening yet to any large extent, but there have been fringe cases where this data has been used to harm individuals.

Perhaps this is fair. I subsidize your groceries and you subsidize my auto insurance! But deep profiling leads down a dangerous path. You can know with great certainty that the actuaries will use whatever information at their disposal, no matter how odd, and we in the general public will not have a clue that if we tend to shop at certain hours in certain places for certain items, then we are, statistically speaking, a higher risk. Actuaries don't need to justify the "why", they only need to care about data relationships.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bilbo63 View Post

Cheers!

Cheers back as well. Sane conversations where people can disagree without name calling are what makes this board (usually) great. The magicj dude isn't doing himself any favors on this topic (although I agree with some of his points), but at least he's maintained a civil attitude, which can't be said of some of his detractors.
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post #73 of 94
Quote:
Originally Posted by yensid98 View Post

Well you don't see it being reported on daily by major news sites (CNN, NYT, etc) and Sony hasn't been called into the DoJ or any other governmental agency. It seems like in this case of STOLEN information, the only people who care about it are gamers and Sony haters."

I'm neither (not a console gamer anyway), and I am the first to agree that it is a MUCH bigger deal than anything Apple has done.

I think criticism of Apple over the location logging is valid, but I personally dont consider it even remotely as bad as compromising things like credit card info. It is trivial by comparison.


Quote:
Doesn't that deserve more front page notice than a file stored locally?

Definitely. No argument here.
post #74 of 94
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blah64 View Post

I think we can agree that for every individual there is a different level of "within reason". For many different scenarios, some literally for safety, some financial, some personal.



For the most part, this can be done (and has been done for 50 years) simply by targeting toward the demographic of the web site, article content, TV show, magazine, etc... And I have no problem with that at all. It's not AS accurate as profiling, but it's reasonably accurate without delving into personal privacy issues. You don't find feminine hygiene ads when you're reading here on AI.



You may "save" $300/year, but it's false savings. The prices were jacked up to recover the merchant fees. Then a portion of that gets distributed back to the consumers who are willing to play these games. Those of us who refuse to kowtow to the banks are in essence subsidizing your purchases (you're welcome!), but there's a ton of overhead involved; if they didn't play all these games in the first place you'd be saving a lot more. All these "loyalty card" systems (which have been shown to NOT improve loyalty) piss me off, so I just tend to shop in the higher-end stores (in my area anyway) that don't use them. Lo and behold, their prices are (generally) lower for the same items without all the crap!



The problem is that all this data is being shared more and more, and it's hard to know where it will end up. Your insurance company would love to know exactly how many Bacardi Limon with Coke you have every week. If it's greater than N, then they would be happy to raise your rates (auto) or drop your coverage (medical). To my knowledge this isn't happening yet to any large extent, but there have been fringe cases where this data has been used to harm individuals.

Perhaps this is fair. I subsidize your groceries and you subsidize my auto insurance! But deep profiling leads down a dangerous path. You can know with great certainty that the actuaries will use whatever information at their disposal, no matter how odd, and we in the general public will not have a clue that if we tend to shop at certain hours in certain places for certain items, then we are, statistically speaking, a higher risk. Actuaries don't need to justify the "why", they only need to care about data relationships.



Cheers back as well. Sane conversations where people can disagree without name calling are what makes this board (usually) great. The magicj dude isn't doing himself any favors on this topic (although I agree with some of his points), but at least he's maintained a civil attitude, which can't be said of some of his detractors.

I am in total favour of restricting how our personal is being harvested and used by third parties. As you correctly pointed out, this has been going on for a very long time. I think that it's a good thing that we are questioning and discussing this. I also agree that we all have different levels of what we are comfortable with.

As far as false savings at my grocery store goes. I agree with you to a certain extent. The store I shop at is quite close, so I consider that a bonus, plus they employed my teenage son for 4 years so I am fine giving them my business. Furthermore I don't see the point in wasting time and gas driving all over town shopping "the sales". I guess, I'd be shopping there anyways so $300 in groceries, is $300 in groceries. It leaves me more money for Bacardi Limon and Coke too. (if you haven't tied it, it's delightful)

I guess at the end of the day, our comfort levels may differ somewhat, but I think we are more or less in agreement on this topic. I just take exception for everyone beating on Apple over privacy concerns. They may not be perfect, but I have seen no evidence that they are crossing lines and they are not as bad as many companies in this regard. For now, I am pretty trusting of Apple until they prove that I cannot trust them.

B
post #75 of 94
Quote:
Originally Posted by d-range View Post

As far as I understand...

If you leave out the emotional reasoning and just look at this issue rationally, ...

This whole nonsense again shows the hypocrisy and eagerness of the media to jump on the big guy and generate lots of fuss about nothing....

Nice post.
Blindness is a condition as well as a state of mind.

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Blindness is a condition as well as a state of mind.

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post #76 of 94
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jonamac View Post

You should check your facts before you lay on the smugness. Labelling is the correct British spelling. I am British. Expecting people entering a rational debate to make their points coherently has been a mainstay of the written word for hundreds of years for a reason; you sound like a damned fool when you throw mud at someone in broken English, a little like you sound a damned fool when you correct someone's English wrongly.

I'd like to see you write anything in some other language than your 'British English' and see how you fare. Talk about being smug, I really hope you're not a dickhead like this in real life. You should take your own advice and stop throwing mud at people for no good reason.

That said, I've read every post in this 3-page topic, and nowhere do I see anyone posting anything that's insulting to magicj, so what are you even talking about. Are you one of his buddies? One of his aliases?

This whole topic stinks, as if the discussion is purposefully driven by shills.
post #77 of 94
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bilbo63 View Post

I guess at the end of the day, our comfort levels may differ somewhat, but I think we are more or less in agreement on this topic.

That sounds about right.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bilbo63 View Post

I just take exception for everyone beating on Apple over privacy concerns. They may not be perfect, but I have seen no evidence that they are crossing lines and they are not as bad as many companies in this regard. For now, I am pretty trusting of Apple until they prove that I cannot trust them.

I'll chime in to say that I'm pretty trusting of Apple as well, but where there's doubt I still like to have verification. There are far too many fanboys and apologists around here, especially about privacy issues. (I'm not counting you in that group).

And I'll also say that as far as privacy issues, while I don't have 100% trust any organization, I trust Apple more than pretty much any major corporation that I'm aware of or deal with. Especially Google, but also banks, telcos, publishers, you name it.
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post #78 of 94
Quote:
Originally Posted by d-range View Post

That said, I've read every post in this 3-page topic, and nowhere do I see anyone posting anything that's insulting to magicj, so what are you even talking about. Are you one of his buddies? One of his aliases?

You have got to be fking joking! You obviously did NOT read the entire topic with that goal. It only took me a couple minutes of quick scanning to find these insulting comments. And there were plenty more that were accusatory and/or dismissive. He or she (magic) has been on-topic and polite throughout, you just don't agree with him. In the end, you're being a dick.

Speaking of aliases, it looks like FreeRange and d-range are the buddies or aliases.


Quote:
Originally Posted by FreeRange View Post

You are a totally clueless hack. Please, go get yourself an education so that you actually know what you are talking about.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hill60 View Post

I'm thinking of suing the trash collection service, they collect bins full of trash including letters and bills which can be used to identify me and where I live.

They don't even have a privacy policy.

Want to join my class action, Mr Chicken Little?

Quote:
Originally Posted by FreeRange View Post

You are a complete idiot! It is only on MY computer and MY iPhone, just like MY private contacts, private documents, private photos, private email, private bank information etc. etc. etc. Grow up!

Quote:
Originally Posted by FreeRange View Post

STFU - you are a tiresome bore!

Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

There has to be a 100 million people laughing at you right now. This is beyond belief.

Quote:
Originally Posted by xsu View Post

In other news, people shocked to find out anyone who gained access to your wallet will be able to steal your money.

Speaking of insulting, these last couple are from you. Accusatory, with no justification whatsoever. Yeah, you really went back and read this thread.

Quote:
Originally Posted by d-range View Post

This is last thing I'm going to say on this topic: you are now so obviously trying to stuff this topic with statements that serve no other purpose than to make Apple look bad, that I'm almost 100% sure you are a shill.

Your style of commenting, your non-sequitur arguments, and the fact that you obsessively try to make sure there are more of your posts saying negative things about Apple instead of trying to have an intelligent conversation based on arguments says it all. You are here to spread FUD, not because you care about privacy.

Quote:
Originally Posted by d-range View Post

How many times are you going to spam that link? Honest answer please: are you in any way affiliated with any of the parties involved in this case, or any party directly or indirectly served by more exposure of this whole legal circus?

No way some random guy on the internet that isn't somehow involved in this or benefits from it some way or another would be posting the way you do, you are making it all way too obvious. Who has been asking or even instructing you to hang around here posting all this crap?
No Matte == No Sale :-(
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post #79 of 94
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blah64

Speaking of insulting, these last couple are from you. Accusatory, with no justification whatsoever. Yeah, you really went back and read this thread.

Excuse me, but what part of those two quotes from me you managed to dig up are insulting?

Like I said, this topic stinks, there's 3 or 4 people posting the exact same thing over and over again, not responding to any actual arguments being made by other commenters, propping each other up and trying to divert from the topic by pointing out how reasonable their 1 million posts without any substance are, then coming back the next day to continue their work.

It's already gone as far that we're now at the level where you guys have to resort to complaining about my 'broken English', pretending as if I've been insulting to anyone, or trying to excuse Apple from messing up the way they handle the location cache. Anyone with time to spare can go back and read this whole thread to conclude none of this is true. Not that I recommend it, because there is hardly anything of value left in this discussion with all the hollow words from people like yourself.
post #80 of 94
Quote:
Originally Posted by d-range View Post

... This whole topic stinks, as if the discussion is purposefully driven by shills.

Yeah, there's a lot of that going on around here.
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