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[liberationtech] iPhones/iPads secretly track 'scary amount' of your movements

Erik Sundelof erik at
Wed Apr 20 14:04:15 PDT 2011


I am actually stunned that developers, technology architects and others 
are surprised this is the case. In particular as Apple is a closed 
system and also very commercial. If you have advanced recommendation 
engines etc etc you will be profiling your users extensively and even if 
you do not offer products needing all information you will generally 
collect as much as possible.

Maybe it is time for everyone to start with that in mind when you use a 
third-party solution. There is no such thing as a free solution.

Creating solutions with this in mind, as Nathan implied, instead of 
being surprised is probably more fruitful in general.



Nathan Freitas wrote:
> On 04/20/2011 03:55 PM, Frank Corrigan wrote:
>> More reasons for activists/protesters in hostile (ordinary) environments
>> not to bring along their mobile phone, latest cell connected gizmo.
> ... and return to megaphones, flags, smoke signals, carrier pigeons and
> frantic arm waving instead? If our ordinary environments are truly
> hostile, then either we give up ever using a mobile phone, or we find
> some way to address the problem.
> Don't get me wrong, this latest revelation on mobile privacy is indeed
> scary, and Apple better fess up. I just think we can fix these issues,
> instead of allowing them to be disempowering.
> In this case at least, turning your phone into "airplane mode" would
> have stopped the phone from broadcasting its availability to and
> registering with mobile towers. This would stop the active triangulation
> of your location from being logged into the local iOS database.
> I have an "airplane mode" icon on my Android phone home screen. Anytime
> I am not expecting an important call, or am reachable by another means
> (email, IM, irc), I generally activate it. Not only does it reduce my
> location footprint data trail, but it also saves quite a bit of battery
> life!
> I also like Google's Latitude Dashboard which encourages user to really
> "own it" when it comes to mobile location data tracking. They have a
> really pretty UI, charts, etc, that can show you how many minutes a day
> you spend at home, the gym, work or your local pub. Their point is that
> if government and mobile phone operators already have this data, why
> shouldn't you (the user and human being tracked) also benefit from it?
> All in all, we shouldn't cede the advantage technology can bring to the
> movements and causes we care about because developers at Apple and Skype
> (see their recent issue with Android app data permissions) are clearly
> make very bad decisions about how they implement their closed-source
> software.
> Best,
>   Nathan
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