A team of researchers says Apple is secretly obtaining the locations of iOS4 users and recording them in a hidden file, according to a betanews.com report.
Two of the researchers, Alasdair Allan and Peter Warden of O’Reilly Media, presented their findings today at the Where 2.0 conference in Santa Clara, Calif.
According to the story, the revelation raises “obvious privacy concerns and questions as to why Apple would be storing such information. The researchers believe it is intentional, as the file is restored after backups and even when the user switches to a new device.”
The group says the functionality is apparently new to iOS4, the mobile operating system that runs the latest iPad, iPhone and iPod touch. The researchers have reportedly tried to contact Apple’s security team but had yet to hear back from the company.
The story reports: “Allan says that the existence of the file on on your computer is a security risk, as it is both unprotected and unencrypted. ‘It can also be easily accessed on the device itself if it falls into the wrong hands,’ he wrote in a blog post. ‘Anybody with access to this file knows where you’ve been over the last year, since iOS4 was released.’"