Your iPhone knows where you were last summer!
Finally… proof my phone is spying on me! In the news this morning I found reports that iPhones running iOS 4+ are constantly logging their location. The security researchers who discovered the data file, which is synced when the phone syncs, have developed an app that shows you where your phone thinks you’ve been!
While I share the security concerns raised by this discovery, I was also intrigued to see where my phone thinks I’ve been, and it would seem to know about every major event in my life since May 13th, 2010.
Starting with the world view, it knows that in the past eleven months I’ve been to Australia, Spain, France and the UK.
When it started tracking me I was about to head out to Australia for two weeks. It caught the fact that I was in Sydney, and a few spots slightly north, but seems to have missed most of my epic road trip up to Cairns.
That’s a bit odd, especially since it managed to catch that I was in Madrid for a stag do one weekend, and in Tours/Magny Cours another weekend.
As far as the UK goes I hadn’t realised how much I’ve travelled around during the past year.
It has remembered my frequent trips to Norfolk, a wedding in the Coswolds, another wedding near Exeter, camping on the north Norfolk coast, frequent trips to London, a christening in Wales, several trips to Derby, a road trip around Scotland, a trip to Brighton, several trips to Southsea, and a few even I can’t remember.
In early September I apparently spent a week travelling around the South East of England, can anyone remember why I did that?
One oddity is that it thinks I was in Scotland at the end of March this year, and I’m absolutely certain I wasn’t. I think.
If anyone knows why I was up there, please let me know!
I think Apple need to make it clear why they’re logging this information, and make the backup file more secure if they continue to do so. I also think it should be opt-in rather than defaulting to on.
Looking back over my movements for the past year has been absolutely fascinating, and security concerns aside I like that I’m carrying something with me that’s keeping a record of everywhere I go.
Update: It would appear that you may be sending this location data to Apple, but only if you’ve agreed to send them anonymous usage information.