Most smartphones, like the iPhone for example, use a built-in GPS antenna to offer you travel directions, make the localized search more accurate, and enable location-based apps like Foursquare to function. However, many people believe that when those location-enabled apps are disabled, or when the GPS function is turned off, that the phone is at rest, and is not recording their every move.
The truth is on the contrary, however. A recent discovery has shown that Apple records its customers’ locations at all times, even if no location-based app is being used or if the GPS function is turned off completely. And to make matters worse, and ultimately even more creepy, Apple makes sure that this secretly recorded location data is safely stored by backing it up with iTunes every time the iPhone is synced to a computer.
So who is being tracked and why? The latest findings show that every single iPhone 4 since its release has been logging locations at all times, storing them secretly in the background.
But what really makes this concerning is that this location data isn’t encrypted or locked in any way, and can be accessed by anyone who gains access to your iPhone or computer, and can see a highly detailed report of every single place the phone has ever been.
As a side note, getting a new iPhone won’t help you with clearing your travel history. Every iPhone that you sync with your iTunes identity will also take on a copy of that original location data, and keep building on top of the previous data, giving anyone informed enough about this secret location logging the ability to see everywhere you’ve ever been since you got an iPhone 4.
As of right now, Apple has not responded as to why they are conducting this secret data logging, but everyone, including the government, wants to know.
To see what your iPhone 4 knows about your travel data, click here to download the free iPhone Tracker software.