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Surprising Science

Do You Care About Phone Location Tracking?

Wired—which says you should care about the controversy over iPhones and Android smartphones tracking users’ location—reports on legal action by two Apple customers.

What’s the Latest Development?

Two Apple customers are suing Apple over alleged violations of computer-fraud laws by recording location data of iPhone and iPad customers. The suit says the accessibility of the unencrypted information collected by Apple places users at serious risk of privacy invasions, including stalking. It comes amid a discovery recently made public that a file stored on Apple’s mobile devices contains a log recording geographical data that can date back ten months. Wired reported last week that Apple had acknowledged last year that it deliberately collects anonymized location data from mobile devices.

What’s the Big Idea?

As Wired said last week—we should care about Apple’s collection of geodata on iPhones, iPads and iPod Touch devices, because the method is flawed. “It’s just a matter of a security flaw that puts your location data at risk if it gets in the wrong hands—not an immediate concern, but a concern nonetheless. …We should care about the implications of a rich file of geographic data living on our iOS devices offering no customer benefit, creating digital footprints that we can’t erase.”


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