Apple tracking mobile users' movements

A report claims that Apple is tracking the movements of its users via both the iPhone and iPad, but it isn't exactly a secret. Amazingly, it is covered by the terms and conditions you agreed to.

According to the BBC, both of Apple's big-selling mobile devices are 'secretly' recording and storing details of all their owners' movements. Location data is kept in a 'hidden, unencrypted file', according to security experts Alasdair Allan and Pete Warden. The facility was added with the iOS4 software update in June 2010.

It's not obvious to users of Apple products and there has been no suggestion of misuse of the data, but if you own an iPad or an iPhone, you did actually agree to it. Yes, it's covered in the terms and conditions you probably whizzed through before agreeing. The bit below is particularly relevant.

We may collect information such as occupation, language, zip code, area code, unique device identifier, location, and the time zone where an Apple product is used so that we can better understand customer behaviour and improve our products, services, and advertising'.

Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant at security firm Sophos told the BBC that it was unlikely Apple planned to use the information commercially: 'I think there are some legitimate privacy concerns and people will probably look for a way of obscuring that data. But it is an object lesson about reading the terms and conditions.'

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