Have an Apple iPhone? Someone might be following you. Researchers found that Apple's operating system on the iPhone and iPad tracks the precise location of the user at any given time and saves the information to a file on the device. And that's not all. The data can be copied over to another device if synced with the iPhone or iPad. Anyone with access to the device is able to find out where the user has been by simply plugging the device into a computer and downloading the data.
"Apple has made it possible for almost anybody--a jealous spouse, a private detective--with access to your phone or computer to get detailed information about where you've been," Pete Warden, one of the researchers who discovered the secret tracking file told The Guardian, which reports that the phone can store a year's worth of location data.
Lawmakers are asking Apple CEO Steve Jobs for answers. Democratic Rep. Ed Markey, who sits on the House Energy and Commerce Committee and cochairs the House Privacy Caucus, wrote a letter to Jobs asking whether the secretive data collection complies with privacy law Markey authored. "Apple needs to safeguard the personal location information of its users to ensure that an iPhone doesn't become an iTrack," Markey said in a statement Thursday. "Collecting, storing and disclosing a consumer's location for commercial purposes without their express permission is unacceptable and would violate current law." Democratic Sen. Al Franken raised similar concerns about privacy.
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