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

Bill Best bill.best at commedia.org.uk
Thu Apr 21 02:13:29 PDT 2011


This open-source application maps the information that your iPhone is
recording about your movements. It doesn't record anything itself, it
only displays files that are already hidden on your computer.

http://petewarden.github.com/iPhoneTracker/

Bill Best
-- 
Community Media Association
http://www.commedia.org.uk/
http://twitter.com/community_media
http://www.facebook.com/CommunityMediaAssociation

On 21 April 2011 08:55, Frank Corrigan <email at franciscorrigan.com> wrote:
> I am not seeking to conflate or exaggerate the issues I was just
> unfamiliar with devices themselves retaining such easy to access and
> extensive location data and I understand the ipad and iphone also place
> the location data file on any computer used to back them up/sync or
> access online services like iTunes. I am aware there is a trade off
> between use of technology and the consequential digital footprints, it
> is just that Apple has added this function to it's devices without
> giving users informed consent of it's activation or explanation of it's
> purpose and it does not appear to offer any added value to the
> iPhone/iPad users.
>
> I am aware that in depth research needs to be done on the likes of Tor
> usage on 3G cell tower connected devices.
>
> Frank
>
>
> ----- Original message -----
> From: "Rafal Rohozinski" <r.rohozinski at psiphon.ca>
> To: "Liberation Technologies"
> <liberationtech at lists">liberationtech at lists.stanford.edu>
> Date: Wed, 20 Apr 2011 22:51:53 -0400
> Subject: Re: [liberationtech] iPhones/iPads secretly track 'scary
> amount' of    your movements
>
> It's not just iPhones that record vast amount of data that can be easily
> geo-located and reconstruct  person's movements,  networks, and personal
>  communication - any cell phone going back 15 years stores  data through
> log files, message  and SMS traffic that can be reconstructed and
> retrieved to create pretty comprehensive profiles of usage and location.
>  Devices that do forensic extraction (UFED) are quite widespread and in
> use throughout police forces intelligence agencies as well as  most
> cellular carriers  around the world. For those of you for whom  this is
> a revelation, I'd advise you to take a look at this website of a leading
> provider of UFEDs.  There are some interesting videos, and once you're
> done,  take a look at where this company has  it's permanent
> representatives.
>
> http://www.cellebrite.com/forensic-products/ufed-physical-pro.html
>
> Time for a reality check. Mobile phones are essentially digital dogtags
> so if you're concerned about  the ability they have to track your
> movements and  communications -  do like Osama, use  exclusively
> off-line means through trusted intermediaries.  Otherwise  accepting
> that cell phones are  a risk to privacy is just  the flip side of the
> convenience that these devices bring.  With or without Apple  networks
> are essentially  spiderwebs    -  that's the essence of modern signals
> intelligence.
>
> It's worrisome that there are a lot of myths   among the activist
> community about cell phone security. True, you can "drive up the
> negatives" and make it  more difficult for a casual actor to scan or
> obtain PII  from your  phone ( so I  I agree with Nathan) -  but if
> you're up against  well resourced opponents, most of these tools  plain
> ineffective and their very presence on your phone may be more of a
> giveaway that  actually makes you more  of a a target of interest.
> Unfortunately security is not a product or something you can buy
> shrink-wrapped in code.  Its practice and process  and  ultimately comes
> down to the risks you're willing to take in the service of an objective
> or cause.  And if you want to play in the big tent, it's  good
> old-fashioned tradecraft and not better toys that make a difference.
>
> Rafal
>
>
>
> On Apr 20, 2011, at 5:43 PM, Frank Corrigan wrote:
>
>>
>> I am aware of the general principle of mobile phone tracking, it is just
>> that most people assume this data is only accessible via cell tower
>> providers or via a court order/lawful request, not recorded on the
>> device itself and accessible in an easy to read format to anyone who has
>> access and inclination or has impounded it for law enforcement purposes.
>> I suppose it's a bit like the Windows IE index.dat files. Now of course
>> anyone crossing a USA border can have such devices taken away and such
>> location data easily copied for later in-situ analysis.
>>
>> Frank
>>
>> ----- Original message -----
>> From: "Nathan Freitas" <nathan at freitas.net>
>> To: "Frank Corrigan" <email at franciscorrigan.com>, "Liberation
>> Technologies" <liberationtech at lists">liberationtech at lists.stanford.edu>
>> Date: Wed, 20 Apr 2011 16:20:13 -0400
>> Subject: Re: [liberationtech] iPhones/iPads secretly track 'scary
>> amount' of    your movements
>>
>> 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?
>>
>> https://www.google.com/latitude/history/dashboard
>>
>> 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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