New Delhi: Apple iPhones and 3G iPads running on iOS 4.0 or above keep a tab on users' location and store the data into a hidden file. This was revealed by two UK-based security researchers, Alasdair Allan and Pete Warden.
In a post on O'Reilly Radar, Alasdair Allan says they are "not sure why Apple is gathering this data, but it's clearly intentional, as the database is being restored across backups, and even device migrations."
The feature is undocumented and it logs the device's location (longitude/latitude) along with timestamps. The data can be accessible from any computer used to sync the iPhone or iPad. Moreover the data is also not encrypted or protected and therefore can be misused if it falls in the wrong hands.
Allan and Warden have contacted Apple's Product Security team, but are yet to get a response from Apple. As it is not yet clear why Apple was collecting the coordinates, it has raised fears of privacy violation.
In this video Pete Warden and Alasdair Allan talk about how they discovered the existence of the tracking database on the iPhone, and what it might mean.