Apple's iPhone 4 Tracks Where It's Been

Apr 21, 2011
Originally published on April 21, 2011 10:37 am
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MARY LOUISE KELLY, Host:

NPR's Martin Kaste reports.

MARTIN KASTE: Alasdair Allan says the iPhone 4 is constantly recording its location relative to nearby cell phone towers and Wi-Fi signals. He found the data when he was looking at the files created when you sync your phone with your computer.

ALASDAIR ALLAN: I stumbled across a directory that's actually named Location D, and I thought well, that looks interesting - which was full of latitudes and longitudes and time stamps.

KASTE: Allan and Warden say the iPhone tracking was already a known piece of inside knowledge among hacker-types, but they wanted to make sure everybody was aware of it. Warden says there's no evidence the location information is being sent to anybody else.

PETE WARDEN: So don't panic, but we do want to know more about what's happening with this data.

KASTE: Martin Kaste, NPR News. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.