Being the proud owner of a magical gadget like an iPhone or an iPad comes with some setbacks, and I'm not just talking about MIA Internet service or dropped calls. Nope, actually, our beloved Apple devices are electronic spies, following us more closely than Facebook friends who "like" our every ... single ... update. Or so say security researchers Pete Warden and Alasdair Allan, who have found that the iOS gadgets are tracking and storing our location data, then sharing it with the devices that sync with the iPhone or iPad. (Like your MacBook, for instance.)
Although lots of our personal info gets shuttled around this way, this is different in that the info about our whereabouts is unencrypted and, therefore, can be accessed and viewed by ANYONE. (Even that creepy guy staring you down on the train? Who probably spends all of his free time playing World of Warcraft and "hacking" smartphones? Eeek!)
Clearly, this should raise a few eyebrows and worry iPhone/iPad users just a wee bit about privacy/security issues.
To some extent, I understand that when you opt to have a gadget that serves as a phone/Garmin/camera/TV/music player, etc., you sort of have no choice but to relinquish the idea that all of your personal info is yours and yours only. A device like that just couldn't do what it's supposed to do if it didn't gather some "sensitive" data ... right? It's like how my boyfriend is hell-bent on plugging his computer into the Ethernet cable before paying any bills online. He doesn't trust Wi-Fi.
But even when we plugged in, we have to accept that there's a slight chance some criminal neighbor could hijack our online banking login info or something.
Still, that doesn't mean we should take this lying down! What the hell, Steve Jobs? Why do you need to track us all the time and store that info and, worst of all, make it unprotected? I've been about 99 percent sure I'll be queue-ing up for an iPhone 5 come September (as that's when it's rumored to be released), but if it has the technology built in to pay for stuff with your phone, I'm opting out of that right away. And I'll be sure to make a stink about any other BS like this that could possibly put me at a greater risk for identity theft.
If you want to see all the data that's been stored on your whereabouts through your iOS device, you can download Warden's free application that maps the information that your iPhone or iPad has recorded and stored about your previous movements.
Does this creep you out?
Image via Chris Harrison/Flickr