For the past few years, it seems like Apple has everything they ask for. Their revenues rose sky-high thanks to their 2 gadgets namely iPhone and iPad. No other competitor came close to the massive success of these mobile phone and tablet computer. Unfortunately, these same gadgets that became a huge hit to consumers happen to be the same devices that placed Apple in big trouble.
Researchers Alasdair Allan and Pete Warden discovered that these two devices logs their owner’s whereabouts to a file called consolidated.db complete with latitude and longitude coordinates. It is believed that this started to happen at the same time when iOS 4 was launched June of last year. The data uploads onto your computer whenever you attach it to your device.
Apple has yet to comment regarding this issue. Researchers also cannot say if Apple has any direct access to these files. It is no secret that service providers have been keeping a record of the locations of their clients but a court order must be obtained first before law enforcement can get a copy for any investigative purposes. Obviously, it is not the case with the iPhone / iPad tracking. Everyone who gets the chance to hold your devices can instantly get an access to your past locations without you even knowing it.
It may be a serious case of invasion of privacy for some people, while others do not even care at all and even find it entertaining. How about your children’s privacy, knowing that anyone can gain access to their whereabouts? The uploaded data can easily be hacked once your computer is infected with software viruses. Even the act of simply letting someone hold your iPhone or iPad is not safe anymore. On the other hand, this location tracker is a blessing in disguise for couples who doubt their partners and for parents who want to know where their children go after class.
I think Apple should leave the decision to consumers whether they want to collect data of their previous locations. Maybe this issue has been blown out of proportion or maybe the government needs to make the necessary actions. This issue will never die until Apple gives their official statement.
We are all waiting!