Hey, wonderful: there’s a location-tracking file on my iPhone.

What sort of data does your phone log to a file…and why?

That’s the most annoying mystery of these superphones that we carry everywhere. It’s a master key to pretty much everything we’ve got going on in our lives: where we’ve been, the people with whom we associate, what we say, and all of the things we’ve seen that we considered worth snapshotting. The phone maker should be both completely open about the data the device collects and should act as though disastrous things would happen if that data were ever to fall into the wrong hands. Because they would. The worst-case scenario of a lost or stolen or otherwise compromised phone is pretty goddamned bad.

So imagine my disappointment when I visited this page (thoughtfully forwarded to me by Dave Bittner). Developers Alasdair Allan and Pete Warden, while working on some mobile data-visualization tools, poked around inside their iPhones and found an SQL database containing a detailed log of the phone’s locations over the past several months. To demonstrate the problem, they wrote a little app that will pull up this file from your desktop iPhone backup, analyze it, and “replay” your movements over time on a map.

Yeah, it works. The app was written just as an illustration, so it intentionally fudges the accuracy. But if I fast-forward to last summer, I reveal a very rough track of the day I decided to blow off work and go to the Cape for an afternoon of swimming and fried clams. Here’s a video demo of the map, provided by the developers:

Washington DC to New York from Alasdair Allan on Vimeo.

A few reality checks, lest I inadvertently do a Glenn Beck number on all of you, here:

  • This database isn’t storing GPS data. It’s just making a rough location fix based on nearby cell towers. The database can’t reveal where you were…only that you were in a certain vicinity. Sometimes it’s miles and miles off. This implies that the logfile’s purpose is to track the performance of the phone and the network, and not the movements of the user.
  • A third party couldn’t get access to this file without physical access to your computer or your iPhone. Not unless you’ve jailbroken your iPhone and didn’t bother resetting its remote-access password…or there’s an unpatched exploit that would give Random Person On The Internet root access to your phone.
  • It’s pretty much a non-issue if you’ve clicked the “Encrypt iPhone Backup” option in iTunes. Even with physical access to your desktop, a no-goodnik wouldn’t be able to access the logfile.

But still! What a nervous can of worms. This is an open, unlocked file in a known location in a standard database format that anybody can read. If someone has physical access to your Mac — or remote access to your user account — it’s a simple matter of copying a file and opening it. And while the logfile can’t tell someone that you were at a specific house, it can obviously tell your boss that you went to the Cape on the day you called in sick.

And it’s not as though Apple and these two developers are the only people who know that this file exists and that it’s so easy to access. By the time the Good Guys blow the whistle, the Bad Guys have had it for months. Lord only knows what they’ve been doing with this information.

It’s also, frankly, another reason why I value my iPhone’s “remote nuke” feature and wish it were possible to nuke all data directly from the handset. I can’t think of any circumstance under which my location data would possibly be damaging, incriminating, or even just embarrassing. That’s not the point: if I can’t control the data that my phone is collecting, I should at least have the power to destroy it utterly.

[Edited to clarify: what I want is a real “overwrite with zeros” feature, like the one you see in Disk Utility. Yup, you can go to Preferences and restore your iPhone to factory settings but I believe that this leaves your data vulnerable to recovery. I imagine a made-for-TV kind of scene in which the Angry Lawyer Bringing A Frivolous Lawsuit Against Me is fumbling for his phone, trying to get a court order to mine data off of my iPhone but before the paperwork comes through, I’ve already tapped nineteen buttons and there’s nothing on that phone that can be recovered.]

Finally, there’s “The ‘Ick’ Factor.” I don’t believe that Apple is up to anything nefarious here (again, I think it’s tracking the performance of the phone and not the movements of the user) but it makes the iPhone look very, very bad. That’s not to say that other phones don’t do even ickier things with user data…but this one’s big and public and easy to demonstrate on a nightly newscast.

Apple should treat this like a serious problem. I’ll be very, very pleased if I or anybody else can get a statement from them explaining what this file is for, and how the next iOS update will secure it.

124 replies
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  1. Ihnatko
    Ihnatko says:

    @CW – Sorry, I should have elaborated on what I meant by “nuke” — I want a real “overwrite with zeroes” data destruction.

  2. y3rt
    y3rt says:

    when you are out in public areas there is no expectation of privacy, generally speaking. So all of your locations could already be recorded, right?

  3. Scott
    Scott says:

    Great, accurate summary! The presence of this file is discomforting, but is not useful for anything nefarious.

  4. ctopher
    ctopher says:

    But it is useful. I’m in the neighborhood of a Target store and voila, an iAd for Target!

    If they use Skyhook, Macy’s could add a bunch of routers and tell you that the shoe section you’re standing in is having a sale.

  5. Patrick
    Patrick says:

    Yeah, I snagged the code and removed the location fuzzing code and.. Well, yeah, I spend most of my time between home and work within a 30-odd block radius, but none of it is really where I’ve been. It’s close and puts me on the right side of the city, but that’s about the extent of it. You can’t tell specifically from the data that you went to 3924 Lover’s Lane Drive at 8:32pm last Tuesday, but you could tell that you were in that general area.

    Which is bad enough, don’t get me wrong. But it’s far more circumstantial than an exact science.

  6. John
    John says:

    I’ve seen it suggested that this is just cached cell tower and WiFi location data to either speed GPS assist (you don’t have to query Apple’s servers each time) or to provide the user with a quicker guesstimated location when a GPS signal can’t be had. I haven’t got any idea that this is what is actually going on, but that does make sense to me.

  7. Jan Landy
    Jan Landy says:

    Andy, with you on the job, I know that I can sleep knowing I am safe. I also know that you are going to find a new something or other that I am going to have to spend money on so that I too can have have the latest and greatest in tech. Thank you.

  8. Ihnatko
    Ihnatko says:

    @PXLated — Good info (I read it a year ago but had forgotten about it). The point, though, is that iOS stores this incredibly valuable information in a vulnerable location. I trust that Apple isn’t misusing this data but I worry about how simple it is for Random Person X grab it from an unsuspecting user.

    Imagine a relationship that’s steadily going south. If these two people live together, then access to a partner’s computer equals access to a pretty detailed log of where he or she has been on a day to day basis. It seems like it’s an easy problem for Apple to solve.

  9. Michael Young
    Michael Young says:

    I don’t have an iPhone implant stuck somewhere inside my body (yet…) so it is not wholly correct to say that the location data from my iPhone is equal to the location data of me.
    While it’s likely true that they are coincident it is not absolutely true. My iPhone could be in locations I where I am not.
    Let’s keep things straight…

  10. Max S.
    Max S. says:

    I assume that buying an iPhone or Android device means that anonymous/aggregated tracking of my every move is ongoing. Minus specific legislation the temptation is just too great. The least Apple can do is allow us to easily access our own electronic breadcrumb trail since ATT, government and marketers have it with varying degrees of specificity. Google has taken a step in this direction with the ability to turn on Location History via build 5.3 of Google Maps.

    Apple should pivot and say:
    “This information is yours and you should have secure access to it. We will continue to store the information on your device, we will encrypt and password protect it and provide you with easy/convenient access to it.”

  11. Ash
    Ash says:

    Great post. I cannot find the “Encrypt iPhone Backup” option in iTunes. Where is this located? Thanks in advance.

  12. delhiboy
    delhiboy says:

    @Ash I believe it’s at the bottom of the ‘summary’ tab when you connect the phone to itunes

  13. Aaron Burghardt
    Aaron Burghardt says:

    The iPhone 3GS and the iPod touch 3rd gen and newer encrypt all user data on a separate partition from the system software. When you perform a remote wipe or do a full restore of your device, the data is instantly, cryptographically erased by discarding the keys and scrubbing memory. So, a zero-wipe feature would be redundant, and not fully effective given the underlying behavior of flash memory (I.e., wear-leveling. Recall the paper earlier this year about securely erasing SSD drives.)

  14. Aaron Burghardt
    Aaron Burghardt says:

    Also, the Cellebrite tool used by the Michigan police requires that the device be unlocked to read it. You can test this yourself by setting a PIN, connecting you device to a machine you have never connected it to, then attempting a backup/sync in iTunes. There are techniques for by-passing a PIN, but it will foil the Cellebrite.

  15. RosarioM
    RosarioM says:

    To everyone defending Apple or saying this is no big deal, I would LOVE to see your reaction to this if it was Microsoft or Google that did it.

  16. Hamranhansenhansen
    Hamranhansenhansen says:

    The real problem is this file is not unique, it is merely a cache. The same information exists at your carrier, and in the US the government can get this information without a warrant. The carriers even have apps for it. What we see in this new app is how the government has already been seeing us. Ultimately, I think the lesson here is much broader than iPhone. There is no unique iPhone feature that is even in play, these are cell tower locations. All phones are generating this data at the carrier.

    The fact that this data is also on your iPhone might even be a feature. If the government says that according to AT&T you were at a bank when it was robbed, and this file in your iPhone says differently, at least you would have a defense. And with an easy Airplane Mode and iPod touch offering the same platform without 3G, you at least have some ways to manage your relationship with the cell towers.

    The larger truth is the Constitution says we’re to be secure in our letters. The idea is that a person has a right to a private place to record their thoughts, and share them only with a select few, or nobody at all. That translates perfectly to an iPhone. But it is not currently being respected. The US supreme court is almost completely out of touch with the people and the modern world. Most of them take the view that I’d an iPhone didn’t exist in the late 1700’s, then it is fair game, it’s not covered by the Constitution. You have no rights at all with regards to your letters if you transfer them from quill and parchment in a leather book you carry into the digital letters in a silicon book called an iPhone. The mobile phone is definitely under attack.

    The “Erase all Content” feature does write zeroes on original iPhone and iPhone 3G. Possibly it also does so on newer iPhones if encryption is turned off. But it takes hours and hours, and apparently you can get at least some data back with a new technique. On an encrypted iPhone, the keys are destroyed almost instantly, so it should be better in every way than writing zeroes.

  17. steve
    steve says:

    @John When GPS isn’t working, the phone does not place the map in a general vicinity. If it did, that would be useful and make half sense from Apple PR.

    Anyone doubting a “magical” explanation from Apple is fooling themselves. There will be a seemingly logical explanation for all of this tomorrow, and it’ll dive the stock just enough for $AAPL to make a few more huge bucks off the market. The coincidence of this coming on their earnings day isn’t lost.

  18. Tim Owens
    Tim Owens says:

    Hamranhansenhansen is correct. My understanding was the point of hardware encryption directly on the device (and now file-level encryption between applications and sandboxing) means without keys to the kingdom the need to overwrite data is irrelevant because the data in its current form is garbage without the keys.

  19. Roger D. Parish
    Roger D. Parish says:

    It’s not only iPhones that do this; I have discovered this SQLite db on my MacBook. And, no, I do NOT own nor use an iPhone, so it is not copied from there. I examined the database with SQLite Manager plugin for FireFox and it contains only WiFi data,

  20. Ian Ragsdale
    Ian Ragsdale says:

    I believe you can nuke your data on the device by locking it and then entering the wrong unlock code 10 times.

  21. Aaron
    Aaron says:

    According to the FCC, cell phone’s triangualtion implementation *must* be able to calculate your placement within 50-300M of your actual location. http://www.fcc.gov/pshs/services/911-services/enhanced911/Welcome.html

    That level of accuracy *is* important. It takes almost nothing to jailbreak an iPhone and gain realtime access to this file. Even though it may be only marked accessible by root, anyone who jailbreaks the phone gets automatic root access.

    The problem is that if your phone, 3G iPad or backup is stolen, someone can reconstruct your approximate whereabouts and estalish patterns for your daily routine (when you leave your house, when you drop you kids off for school, where you drop your kids off for school). Even if it’s not GPS-pinpoint-accurate, within 150-900 feet is close enough to provide would-be thieves or other ne’er-do-wells unwanted insight into your life.

  22. GagdetGav
    GagdetGav says:

    It can only tell your boss you were on the Cape on the day you called in sick if you allow your boss physical access to your phone for several minutes or physical access to the computer you back up your phone to…
    I don’t know about other people, but I back up my phone to my home computer and it lives in a locked house with a password on it. Yes, passwords can be broken by determined people, but if your boss is going to those lengths, you’ve got other problems. Likewise, a lock code on your phone and keeping it about your person should negate any chance of someone swiping the file directly from the phone.
    There is a case to be made that you might have a work-provided phone and that would be backed up on a work-provided computer, but in that case, you probably don’t have any valid assumption of privacy. If they provide the phone, the computer, the data plan, etc, they probably want to know what you do with it.

    This does bring up a bigger issue in my mind. We probably all clicked though some long T&C document that included a section about this. The T&C’s have become so long and all-encompassing that no one really reads them any more. Even if they do, what are you going to do if you disagree with a clause in there? It’s all or nothing. If you want to use the product, you have to agree to the entire T&C, so you may as well not read it.

  23. GagdetGav
    GagdetGav says:

    @ Aaron, while I agree that your scenario is possible in theory, how likely is it really? Someone steals you iPhone or iPad and rather than just using or selling it, they go to some lengths to do digital forensics on it to figure out where you live and what time you leave your house.
    It seems there’s an Occam’s Razor alternative here – just look in the Contacts for an entry marked ‘Home’ and go stake out the place. But even then, why bother? It’s pretty easy to determine if any given house is occupied at any particular time of the day. Most “ne’er-do-wells” are going to use tried and true breaking & entering methods rather than digital forensics. We have plenty of other personal security issues to worry about before we need to worry that someone is going to reconstruct our daily routine from a geolocation database file.

  24. GagdetGav
    GagdetGav says:

    @ steve, I agree the timing to the day of the financial report seems suspicious, but I wouldn’t put Apple in the frame first. I’d look at O’Reilly and their Where 2.0 conference where this (old) story was (re)broken. Headline sponsors: Nokia (would like an anti-Apple story) & OnStar (talk about tracking your every move).
    Luckily it seems that the story hasn’t had an affect on the stock price, so I don’t think anyone was using it to manipulate the price.

  25. Jane
    Jane says:

    “A third party couldn’t get access to this file without physical access to your computer or your iPhone. Not unless you’ve jailbroken your iPhone and …”

    Whoa! How is this not self-contradictory? Given that iOS is normally locked down to such things, “jailbreaking” by definition *means* running third-party code which exploits a security weakness in iOS.

    Users don’t necessarily have to do anything to fall victim to this: up until 4.0.2 you could go to jailbreakme.com to do it from Safari. They were nice enough to make you take an explicit action, but there’s no reason to believe that someone wanting to compromise your OS’s security maliciously would require this.

    Granted, in this regard, location logs are really no worse than most other secrets stored on your phone, but that doesn’t mean it’s not possible.

    “By the time the Good Guys blow the whistle, the Bad Guys have had it for months.”

    Bingo. This isn’t bad because we think Apple is stealing our location. This is bad because simply by recording this information it makes it available to be stolen.

    I had no problem handing over my credit card at the Apple Store, for example, but imagine if their purchase process included saving your credit card number in a text file on the desktop.

  26. Westacular
    Westacular says:

    John’s comment that this is just cached cell tower location data is correct. Basically: the listed locations are the estimated locations of cell towers that are used TO MAKE the triangulation estimate of your own location, and NOT the triangulation estimates themselves. It’s recording when you last saw each cell site, and where the phone things that cell site is located — not where you were when you saw it. The purpose of the database is probably to improve the speed and accuracy of these triangulation-based location estimates.

    This becomes quite clear when you delve into the database yourself:

    First, the schema for the table in quesiton:
    “CREATE TABLE CellLocation (MCC INTEGER, MNC INTEGER, LAC INTEGER, CI INTEGER, Timestamp FLOAT, Latitude FLOAT, Longitude FLOAT, HorizontalAccuracy FLOAT, Altitude FLOAT, VerticalAccuracy FLOAT, Speed FLOAT, Course FLOAT, Confidence INTEGER, PRIMARY KEY (MCC, MNC, LAC, CI));”

    The table uses the MCC-MNC-LAC-CI tuple as its primary key. These are the values used to uniquely identify a GSM cell, anywhere in the world. It’s the primary key: it can store only one row for any observed cell. (Note that a single cell tower/site normally contains many cells, so there’s going to be a lot of entries.)

    And, as I’ll get to in a bit, it updates these rows, so it only stores the most recent location estimate (and the corresponding timestamp) for a given cell.

    Look at the timestamps on the data: rows occur as big clumps with IDENTICAL timestamps, ranging over a wide region. It’s not saying you were in a couple dozen locations all at once; it’s listing off all the visible cells (and their estimated locations, and the quality of the estimates) at a particular instant.

    That’s the real reason you see data points in places you haven’t been: it’s not an artifact of the imprecision of cell triangulation. It’s one of the cells that was used *for* triangulation; i.e., your phone was able to detect a faint signal from a cell site at that approximate location.

    Scroll back in time in the tracker tool, to the earliest weeks around home. (Helps if you choose a week when you didn’t travel anywhere). They’re probably almost empty, and the few data points that exist are in outlying areas you haven’t been to. Is this because you weren’t using your shiny new iPhone much in the first few weeks? Of course not! It’s because every other cell that was seen at that time has been observed again, more recently — so the corresponding row has been updated with a more recent timestamp. The remaining points for those weeks from long-ago represent the few cells that your phone *hasn’t* seen since then.

    Apple isn’t trying to keep a location history at all; that’s just a side-effect of the thoroughness of this cell location caching.

    Yes, in nefarious hands, this data can be used to track past locations — but only on the order of showing the most recent time your phone visited a given city. For a wide and frequent traveller, this could be upsetting. For someone that mostly sticks to just a few cities, the database reveals practically nothing.

    To get anything more detailed than that would require much more complex inverse modelling of what cells can be seen from where, and even then, you’d be limited by fairly coarse time samples, and you could only run this analysis on the most recent visit to a given region.

  27. Steko
    Steko says:

    One thing that’s not reported widely is that in 3.0 this file was frequently cleared because the data was collected every week or so.

    In 4.0 it appears they stopped collecting either they didn’t want or need the data anymore or it’s a bug/broken code. But the log file keeps right on logging, somewhat embarrassingly.

  28. Privacy Advocate
    Privacy Advocate says:

    God, if there is one thing I hate it’s corporate apologists. Even more I hate inaccuracies in corporate propaganda. Please remove this from your sycophantic blog post:

    It’s pretty much a non-issue if you’ve clicked the “Encrypt iPhone Backup” option in iTunes

    It’s a lie.

    Other readers should please take note of this article:


    The large story, and great tragedy of our time, is that our institutions cannot keep up with rapidly changing technology.

    If there was anything left other then an empty shell of the enlightenment values our society was based on, Steve Jobs would be strung up next to the top cop in Michigan…

  29. Aaron
    Aaron says:

    @ GadgetGav – Yes, I would guess that someone would most likely go the route of least resistance for learning about your personal details; however, the data still might be used to exploit more time-based information about you (when you leave for work, how long it takes you to get from home to work, etc), which could potentially be information they use to better target you for other crimes.

    Since many folks who do jailbreak their iDevices don’t go through the common steps to reset the root password, etc, they could become the victims of drive-by data theft.

    If it was discovered that a WP7, Blackberry, or Android device was doing this, I think there would be a lot more noise about it. Regardless, any information that I is being given up or stored on my behalf without my express consent or knowledge I would deem a violation of my trust.

  30. Dann Berg
    Dann Berg says:

    Yeah, this is more of a security issue rather than the severe privacy issue that everyone seems to be making it out to be. Encrypt the file, and go about your business. If Apple (or anyone) was farming this information, that would be another issue…

  31. Anthony
    Anthony says:

    The local wipe function could be done by setting a password and entering it incorrectly 10 times. That will throw away the encryption key for the ssd drive.

  32. GadgetGav
    GadgetGav says:

    @ Aaron “If it was discovered that a WP7, Blackberry, or Android device was doing this, I think there would be a lot more noise about it.”

    You’re kidding, right? *More* noise than this story has got over the last few days? I don’t think so. And if a WP7 phone was doing it, who’d notice?

    I don’t see how a data leak on a jailbroken phone with the default root password is Apple’s problem either…

    As someone who was a victim of a home invasion (2 people in our house at 3am while we were home), I don’t see why a thief would go to these lengths to get “time-based information” that they could get much more easily (without access to your phone or computer) just by parking outside your house. Even then, most crimes of that nature are opportunistic, not planned in great detail. Most of us don’t live in a spy movie.

    As for express consent and knowledge, we all clicked ‘Agree’ on the Terms & Conditions. Who can say they read and understood every line in that document? I’d bet we have all agreed to what ever data is being collected and stored, we were just too lazy to read what we were signing.

  33. Don
    Don says:

    Interesting that my iPad, which is 9 months old and uses ATT has this data file and it shows a map of the cell phone towers I use, not where I actually have been. There are versions of the tracker script out there the do not obscure the data and you can tell beyond any doubt that the map shows tower locations.

    Interestingly my month old Verizon iPhone does not have this file. Or at least i can not find it in the same backup file location as the iPad backup file. Does the bug not exist on Verizon iPhones?

  34. Jim
    Jim says:

    Andy, you mention you would like a nuke function and that you want it to be to rewrite all data. What happens when I enter my access code wrong 10 times. I thought that was the same thing. I am wrong?

  35. Jonathan
    Jonathan says:

    One big misconception is that this would be a log of where you’ve been. Superficially true, but it is in fact a cache of cell towers and WiFi networks, that can be used to geolocate you. Any one point in the database is not you; it’s a network. It’s typically updated with tens of nearby cells or hundreds of WiFi networks at once. That allows an iDevice to geolocate itself without waiting for GPS or an internet connection (guess where the spread in the data comes from). Even if it doesn’t have any of that like an iPod touch, as long as it’s been at a hotspot in the area. It just seems that this cache is never pruned, so it leaves a rough footprint of where you’ve been.

    The exact data it contains is the lat-lon of each point, an identifier like MAC address for WiFi (each appears only once, even if it’s been updated after), a timestamp of when it was last updated (doesn’t occur very often and in batches of several networks – I only have 97 unique cell timestamps and 231 WiFi over half a year or so, and many of the old ones haven’t been overwritten even though I’ve been there again), and some miscellaneous stuff like expected accuracy.

    At least there’s a clear innocent purpose. I’d be more worried about the communication with Apple’s servers to fill that cache in the first place, which we all know about already. In fact, on the upside, it probably reduces such communication in areas where the networks are cached already. Cell providers also know roughly the same thing.

    @Don: As for the Verizon thing, the database has separate tables for GSM, CDMA, and WiFi. I’m not sure if this application will recognize CDMA. If you tried manually looking for the same file name, instead of finding the right one in the Manifest files, that won’t work.

  36. Robert M
    Robert M says:

    Andy, there is one way to “nuke” your iPhone without using MobileMe or Exchange to remote-nuke it. Enable passcode lock and set it to erase your iPhone after 10 failed attempts. This erases the decryption key, leaving the phone useless. Of course, this only works on newer iPhones (3GS & 4) which encrypt the phone’s contents.

  37. Greengar Studios
    Greengar Studios says:

    I think this tracking is done for Apple’s Wi-Fi location service; that is, their Skyhook replacement. CoreLocation works far better indoors with iOS 4 than with iOS 3, and I think it’s because Apple is passively collecting data about where the world’s Wi-Fi hotspots are from the millions of iOS devices actively in use.

  38. Dan
    Dan says:

    Andy, I hope you’ll be able to clear up some of the confusion about this issue on the next MacBreak Weekly – even Leo still doesn’t seem to understand what the purpose of this database is!

    Westacular’s comment here makes the key point: this is not a log of your phone’s movements, it’s a cached portion of Apple’s cell tower and wi-fi hotspot location database. Each location is only in the database once. If the database in question was logging your movements, you’d expect the locations you go to most often to have multiple entries – but this is not the case. The timestamp lets the system figure out how old (and thus potentially out-of-date) each entry is – essential for the operation of a cache.

    There was a WWDC session last year about iOS and Core Location and it explains that as well as downloading the cell tower and wi-fi hotspot location data for your immediate vicinity, iOS also downloads hundreds of entries for cell towers and wi-fi hotspots in a radius around your current location. The point of this is that the device won’t have to query Apple again the second you move from your current position – this saves battery, internet bandwidth, etc. Also this allows wi-fi only devices to still get location fixes even when they’ve moved out of range of a wi-fi hotspot that they can use to get onto the internet (they can still use the list of wi-fi hotspots that they can “see” and look them up in the cached location database). The fact that many locations are downloaded into the cache in batches is easily seen by the fact that many entries in the CellLocations table have the same timestamp.

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  16. […] Ihnatko föreslår på sin blogg att denna information troligen inte handlar om att spåra var du varit utan för att kontrollera […]

  17. […] ????Tech2IPO??bluesabrina???ihnatko??????????????Tech2IPO????????????RSS??????????????????? […]

  18. […] may be trying to capture information about the device or, perhaps, carrier performance — the theory expressed by blogger Andy Ihnatko. Given the rap the iPhone got as a result of AT&T’s network problems, I wouldn’t […]

  19. […] reading a post that suggested the CDMA iPhones do collection location data, I examined the SQLite database stored […]

  20. […] Apple may be trying to capture information about the device or, perhaps, carrier performance — the theory expressed by blogger Andy Ihnatko. Given the rap the iPhone got as a result of AT&T's network problems, I wouldn't discount the […]

  21. […] in a known location in a standard database format that anybody can read,” writes journalist Andy Ihnatko “If someone has physical access to your Mac — or remote access to your user account — […]

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